Fall 2006: Philosophy 190P
Plato’s Middle Dialogues
Instructor: Dr. Gale Justin
Office: Mendocino 3024
Office Phone: 278-6547
Office Hours: Tues. Thurs. 1:30 – 2:30 and by appointment
Catalogue Description: Seminar: major philosopher. Intensive study of a major philosopher. 3 units.
Prerequisite: 6 units in philosopher or permission of the instructor.
A seminar focusing on Plato's theory of knowledge as represented in the Meno, the Phaedo, and the Theaetetus. Discussion starts off with the Socratic principle of the priority of definition as a prerequisite for expert knowledge and then moves on to an examination of Meno's doubts concerning the possibility of inquiry and Socrates' response in terms of the distinction between true belief and knowledge. These topics in turn bring to the fore the problem treated at length in the Theaetetus, namely, the gap for Plato between sense perception, on the one hand, and knowledge under the guidance of the Forms, on the other.
Required Texts: Plato's Meno (Hackett Publication)
Plato's Phaedo (Hackett Publication)
The Theaetetus of Plato, with introduction by Myles Burnyeat (Hackett Publication)
Requirements: Twelve Summaries of reading assignments 30%
An outline of a seminar paper 10%
A preliminary and final draft of a 5 -7 page seminar paper 60%
1. To acquire an understanding of Plato’s ideas on the nature of knowledge as these ideas emerge and develop in the Meno, Phaedo, and Theaetetus, dialogues in which Plato voices his own, not Socrates’, opinions.
2. To understand some of the importantly different ways in which Plato’s arguments can be interpreted.
3. To develop oral skills in discussing philosophic material.
4. To develop writing skills in summarizing, criticizing, and defending philosophic theses of Plato’s and/or of one’s own.
Sept. 5 Introduction
Sept. 7 Meno 70a-77a Summary 1
Sept. 12 Meno 77a – 82b, Summary 2
Sept. 14 Meno 82b – 89d, Summary 3
Sept. 19 Meno 89d – 100c, Summary 4
Sept. 21 Phaedo 57a-67a, Summary 5
Sept. 26 Phaedo 67a – 70d, Summary 6
Sept. 28 Phaedo 70d -72e, Summary 7
Oct. 3 Phaedo 72e – 76e, Summary 8
Oct. 5 Phaedo 77a – 84c, Summary 9
Oct. 10 Phaedo 84c – 91b, Summary 10
Oct. 12 Phaedo 91b – 95b, Summary 11
Oct. 17 Phaedo 95b – 102d, Summary 12
Oct. 19 Phaedo 102d – 107a, Summary 13
Oct. 24 Phaedo 107a – 118a, Summary 14, Paper Outline Due
Oct. 26 Theaetetus 142a – 153e, Summary 15
Oct. 31 Theaetetus 153e – 158a, Summary 16
Nov. 2 Theaetetus 1158a – 160e, Summary 17
Nov. 7 Theaetetus 160e – 168a, Summary 18
Nov. 9 Theaetetus 168a – 171e, Summary 19
Nov. 14 Theaetetus 171e – 177c, Summary 20 First Draft of Paper Due
Nov. 16 Theaetetus 177c – 183c, Summry 21
Nov. 21 Theaetetus 183c – 186e, Summary 22
Nov. 28 Theaetetus 186e – 200e, Summary 23
Dec. 5 Theaetetus 200e – 206e, Summary 24
Dec. 12 Theaetetus 206e – 210d, Summary 25 Second Draft of Paper Due