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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Literature in Translation

Undergraduate Course: Socrates and Plato: Five Dialogues (CLTR10015)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers an introduction to Socrates and Plato through the study of five early-to-middle Platonic dialogues, all reading being done in translation. The five dialogues will be chosen from: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Laches and Phaedo.
Course description The main question the course investigates is the historical relation between, on the one hand, Socrates' philosophy and practice of cross-examination and, on the other, Plato as the greatest exponent, but not inventor, of the literary genre of Socratic dialogues. The syllabus may be as follows (the course booklet is authoritative).


1. a) Introduction; Nomos and Phusis b) Greek reading class,

2. a) Euthypro 1 b) Euthypro 2/ Greek reading class

3 a) Apology 1 b) Apology 2/ Greek reading class etc.

4. a) Apology 3 b) Crito 1

5. a) Crito 2 b) Socratic dialogues: Plato and his predecessors

6. a) The quest for the historical Socrates b) Meno

7. a) NB translation exam: up to section 94c8; Meno 1 b) Meno 2

8. a) Meno 3 and b) Meno 4

9. Phaedo

10. Phaedo

11. Phaedo
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Socrates and Plato (GREE10023)
Other requirements A pass in Classical Literature 2: Greek and Roman Epic (CLTR08008) and/or The Greek World 1A: Greece in the Making (CLGE08001) and/or The Greek World 1B: Greece's New Horizons (CLGE08002) is recommended
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter(at least 2 of which should be in Classical Literature) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  9
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework: the coursework is made up of two parts: one literary review exercise of 1000-1500 words (10%), and one Essay of 3000-3500 words (30%).
Degree Examination: one 2-hour paper (60%).

1st Semester-only Visiting Student (VV1) variant assessment:
One literary review exercise of 1000-1500 words (10%).
One Essay of 3000-3500 words (30%).
Subject-Area administered Exam/Exercise in lieu of Degree Examination (see the current course handbook for further details) - 60%.
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate in written examinations, in course work, and in tutorial discussion an understanding of the difficulties of ascribing a specific philosophy to the historical Socrates, as opposed to the various claims made by the first generation of writers of Socratic dialogues and awareness of Plato displacement of his competitors in the quest to establish himself as Socrates' main philosophical successor;
  2. demonstrate in written examinations, in course work, and in tutorial discussion knowledge of the basic ethical tenets found in the early Platonic dialogues;
  3. demonstrate in written examinations, in course work, and in tutorial discussion the ability to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  4. demonstrate in written examinations, in course work, and in tutorial discussion an ability to assimilate a variety of sources and formulate critical opinions on them;
  5. demonstrate in written examinations, in course work, and in tutorial discussion independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Prior, W. ed. (1996) Socrates. Critical Assessments, 4 Vols., London
Vlastos, G. Vlastos, G. (1991) Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher, Cambridge, 1991

Benson, H.H. ed. (2006) A Companion to Plato, Wiley-Blackwell
Everson, S. ed., Companions to Ancient Thought 4. Ethics
Fine, G. ed. (1999) Plato, 2 vols. (1. Metaphysics and epistemology. 2. Ethics, Politics, religion and the Soul) Oxford
Kahn, C.K. (1996) Plato and the Socratic Dialogue, Cambridge
Kraut, R. ed. The Cambridge Companion to Plato, Cambridge, 1992
Smith, N.D. (1998) Plato. Critical assessments 4 vols., London
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled, contact must be made with a Classics Secretary on 50 3580 for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsSocrates / Plato / English Translation
Course organiserDr Benjamin Harriman
Tel: (0131 6)51 5198
Course secretaryMiss Alexandra Adam
Tel: (0131 6)50 3767
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