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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Lifelong Learning (PPL)

Undergraduate Course: Plato's Republic (LLLI07007)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaLifelong Learning (PPL) Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis is a for-credit course offered by the Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL); only students registered with OLL should be enrolled. The course will guide students through a reading of the whole of Plato┐s Republic ┐ which is arguably the most important philosophical text of all time. The text is a seminal work in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political theory, and aesthetics ┐ and so students will be introduced to these branches of philosophy, and to ancient Greek thought generally.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Lifelong Learning - Session 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  No Quota:  10
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
┐ Explain the dialectical method employed by Plato;
┐ Locate the Republic in the context of the history of Western philosophy, in terms of its influence, and of the subsequent development of key philosophical theories;
┐ State in outline Plato┐s positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political theory, and aesthetics;
┐ Critically evaluate the positions which Socrates adopts with respect to these topics;
┐ Use appropriately philosophical terminology, both as employed in the text and more generally.
Assessment Information
Open Studies 10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Content of course
1. Book 1 ┐ Introduction
2. Book 2 ┐ Justice and Injustice: is justice good in itself, or is it good on account of its consequences?
3. Book 3 ┐ The Noble Lie: is it ever morally permissible for rulers to lie in order to pursue the public interest?
4. Book 4 - Justice in the State and the Individual: how do we achieve a harmonious and healthy soul?
5. Book 5 ┐ Women and the Family: how are women and children to contribute to the public good in the ideal state?
6. Book 6 ┐ The Philosopher King: democracy may result in the translation of public ignorance into public policy ┐ so who should rule?
7. Book 7 ┐ The Cave: what is the condition of those who lack a philosophical education, and what is the process of coming to enlightenment?
8. Book 8 ┐ Imperfect Societies: what are the defects of those political regimes where the philosopher does not rule?
9. Book 9 ┐ Tyranny: is the tyrannical man ever truly happy?
10. Book 10 ┐ The attack on Poetry and the Myth of Er: Plato argues that poets should be banished from the well ordered state, before concluding the text with his own poetical account of the afterlife.
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Essential
Plato., 2008. The Republic. Waterfield, R., ed. Oxford: Oxford World┐s Classics.
Benson, H.H., 2009. A Companion to Plato. London: Blackwell.
Web sources
John Gordon┐s (course tutor) website:
Class handouts
Tutorial questions and class summaries will be posted to the above web site.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
Course secretaryMrs Diane Mcmillan
Tel: (0131 6)50 6912
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