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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Greek

Undergraduate Course: Socrates and Plato (GREE10023)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 and other available evidence in translation. Depending on the year, the Meno, the Euthyphro, or approximately 2/3 of the Phaedo will be read in Greek. 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

Instruction in Greek will be given in the form of separate language tutorials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Greek 2A (GREE08007) OR Greek 2a Ex-Beginners (GREE08009)) AND Greek 2B (GREE08008)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Socrates and Plato: Five Dialogues (CLTR10015)
Other requirements None
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 Ancient Greek) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses, but Elementary or Intermediate Greek courses will not count. Students beyond Intermediate level but with less Greek than the prerequisite should consider either Greek 2a or 2b.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
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 advanced knowledge of ancient Greek and Greek prose style;
  2. 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;
  3. demonstrate in written examinations, in course work, and in tutorial discussion knowledge of the basic ethical tenets found in the early Platonic dialogues;
  4. 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;
  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 on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3582 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsSocrates / Plato / Ancient Greek Philosophy
Course organiserDr Simon Trepanier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3589
Course secretaryMiss Sara Dennison
Tel: (0131 6)50 2501
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