Code and section: PHIL*6310*01
Term: Winter 2019
Instructor: Ken Dorter
The Theaetetus, Sophist, and Statesman are among Plato’s most important dialogues both individually and as a group. For example, the Theaetetus is the first discussion of knowledge as justified true belief; the Sophist explores the possibility of falsity and the concept of Being (Heidegger wrote a book length commentary on it); and the Statesman introduces the concept of the golden mean. As a group the dialogues follow the Parmenides, in which a very young Socrates explains his theory of forms to Parmenides, who apparently demolishes it with a series of refutations. The significance of this, and the way the trilogy responds to it, is a major issue for understanding Plato’s philosophy as a whole. The course will examine the three dialogues through a mixture of lectures and seminars.
Textbook(s): Plato, Complete Works (edited by Cooper and Hutchinson) ISBN 0-87220-349-2
Course requirements / evaluation: Two exegeses, either essays or seminars depending on enrollment.