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

Undergraduate Course: Plato's Republic (GREE10038)

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
SummaryPlato's Republic is the single most influential work of Western philosophy, combining argumentative rigour with unforgettable imagery. Its narrative backbone is a defence of justice as always advantageous to its possessor, a defence which, as it proceeds, in turn involves fundamental investigations into politics, ethics, psychology, epistemology, metaphysics, theology and aesthetics. If that were not enough, it is also a supreme literary and dramatic masterpiece.
Course description Plato's Republic is the single most influential work of western philosophy. The narrative backbone of the ten-book work is a defence of justice as always advantageous to its possessor, but along the way this defence involves fundamental investigations into ethics, epistemology, psychology, metaphysics, theology and aesthetics.
We will work our way through the ten books in English translation over weeks 1-10, with week 11 devoted to a summary. In the language tutorials we will read a selection of passages equivalent to c. 50 Oxford Classical text pages, for example books 1 and the final myth of Book 10. The actual selection may change form year to year, depending on interest.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Plato's Republic in Translation (CLTR10029)
Other requirements Admission to Honours in Classics or Greek and Philosophy or equivalent (normally two years of Greek) with final admission at discretion of course organiser.
Additional Costs Course texts
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 2 years in 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.

** as numbers are limited, visiting students should contact the Visiting Student Office directly for admission to this course **
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
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 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
In-class translation test (15%)
3500 word essay (35%)

Two hour final exam (50%)
Feedback Students will receive feedback on their translation test and their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours for this course or by appointment.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Discuss and contextualize in an informed manner select passages in Greek from Plato's Republic.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the main outlines of Plato's defence of justice; familiarity with the internal structure of the Republic and its central themes and arguments.
  3. Demonstrate awareness of the central modern interpretative trends and issues relating to Plato and the various theses of the Republic in modern scholarship.
  4. Develop and sustain scholarly arguments, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence.
  5. Demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
Greek text:
Slings, S. ed. (2003) Plato's Republic, Oxford Classical texts

T. Griffith (2000) ed. G.R.F. Ferrari, Plato, The Republic, Cambridge.

Scholarly aids:
Annas, J. (1981) An Introduction to Plato's Republic. Oxford
Blackburn, S. (2006) Plato's Republic: A Biography. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press.
Kraut, R. ed. (1997) Plato's Republic: Critical Essays. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield,
Ostenfeld, E.N. ed. (1998), Essays on Plato's Republic. Aarhus: Aarhus University Press.
Santas, G. (ed. 2006), The Blackwell Guide to Plato's Republic. Oxford: Blackwell.
Ferrari, G.R.F. ed. (2007) The Cambridge Companion to Plato's Republic. Cambridge.
McPherran, M. ed. (2010) Plato's 'Republic' A Critical Guide, Cambridge.
Pappas, N. (1995/2003) Plato and the Republic, Routledge, London.
Reeve C.D.C. (1988) Philosopher-Kings: The Argument of Plato's Republic. Princeton.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
demonstrate fluency in translating classical Greek prose

demonstrate an awareness of perennial philosophical questions, such as the foundations of ethics, the possibility and methods of knowledge, various great metaphysical positions (materialism, idealism and other schools) and specific topics in ancient psychology, aesthetics and theology.

demonstrate historical sensitivity with respect to the contextualization and interpretation of ancient ideas and doctrines and an appreciation of historical source-criticism

demonstrate an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship and to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;

demonstrate independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Simon Trepanier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3589
Course secretary
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