ICS Calendar Title: IDS: Plato On the Cultivation Of The Soul

ICS Course Code: ICS 2400AC W12

Instructors: Doug Blomberg, Shannon Hoff, Rebekah Smick, Bob Sweetman

Term and Year: Wednesdays, 9:30am-12:30pm, Winter 2012

Last Updated: January 24, 2012

Course Description

Plato’s texts are unique for their blending of subtle philosophical insight with complex literary form, and the drama of the dialogues is a rich philosophical dimension of these writings. The Laches, Lysis, Charmides, Symposium, and Gorgias are all exciting philosophical studies of the nature of the soul, its development, and its care, and each one is also a powerful portrayal of a complex and interesting interpersonal situation. As we move through a collaborative reading of these complex writings, we will be cultivating our own abilities at reading and appreciating them at the same time as we work through such issues as upbringing, character, aspiration, relationships, aging, truth, beauty, and justice that are raised both by the theoretical discussions of the nature of the soul and by the dramatic portrayals of the practice of living.

Course Materials (available at Crux Books, in the lower level of Wycliffe College)

John M. Cooper and D. S. Hutchinson, eds., Plato: Complete Works (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett

Publishing Co., 1997) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B358 .C3 1997]

Course Structure

Each senior member will be responsible for the first meeting on each dialogue, and will take responsibility for “overseeing” the remaining session(s) on that dialogue. The senior member will not exactly be the “teacher”, but nonetheless will have some vision for how our study might proceed, and will moderate the sessions accordingly. Each of the junior members will give one presentation. The junior member will work with the senior member responsible for leading study of that dialogue in the writing of her or his presentation, submitting or presenting a rough draft of the presentation to the senior member five days prior to the day on which it will be given so that revisions can be made to it in light of the senior member’s comments.

Course Requirements

Participation:  15%

Each course member is required to do the reading assignment and participate in class

discussions. Good participation will be mindful of the contributions of others and oriented toward enhancing the experience of the group as a whole.

In-class Leadership:  30%

Each junior member will write a presentation with the support of the senior member responsible for that particular dialogue. In order to facilitate spending thoughtful time with the text, rather than getting wrapped up in an abstract topic, the presentations each week will have as their first (though not only) task to give a simple outline of the section under study, identifying the characters, the “events” of the conversation, the sequence of topics, etc., rather than proceeding directly to the discussion of a philosophical thesis. (All course participants should be encouraged each week to make such an outline on their own, so that we are all collectively thinking about the text, as well as the ideas.)

Final Paper:  55%

100- to 500-word abstracts of the final paper are due on April 4th. Final papers are due on May 23rd, six weeks after the last day of class. Papers from M.A. students should be 4000-6000 words; papers from Ph.D. students should be 5000-7000 words.

Recommended Readings

Julia Annas, Platonic Ethics, Old and New (Trinity College Library: B398 .E8 A56 1999]

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (especially Books VIII and IX are relevant for study of the Lysis) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B430 .A5 W4]

A.W. Begemann, Plato’s Lysis [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B375 .B43]

Seth Benardete, The Rhetoric of Morality and Philosophy: Plato’s Gorgias and Phaedrus [St. Michael’s College Library: B371 .B46 1991]

__________, The Argument of the Action: Essays on Greek Poetry and Philosophy [Robarts Library: PA3061 .B46 2000X]

Seth Benardete and Allan Bloom, Plato’s Symposium (a translation by Benardete with commentaries by Bloom and Benardete) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B385.A5 B46 2001]

Anne Carson, Eros: the Bittersweet [Victoria University, Pratt Library: BL820 .C65 C37 1998]

Kevin Corrigan and Elena Glazov-Corrigan, Plato’s Dialectic at Play: Argument, Structure, and Myth in the Symposium [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B385 .C67 2004 ; Robarts Library: B385 .C67 2004X]

E.R. Dodds, Plato: Gorgias (translation and commentary) [Victoria University, Pratt Library: PA 4279 .G7 2001]

__________, The Greeks and the Irrational [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BF1421 .D6]

Herman Dooyeweerd, A New Critique of Theoretical Thought [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B4051 .D64 W5513 1984]

__________, The Roots of Western Culture [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BR115 .C5 D6613]

Patricia Fagan and John Russon, eds., Reexamining Socrates in the Apology [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: PA4279 .A8 R44 2009 ; Trinity College Library: PA4279 .A8 R44 2009]

Paul Friedländer, Plato: Three Volumes [Robarts Library: B395 .F753v. 1-3]

H.G. Gadamer, Platos Dialectische Ethik [Downsview Storage: B398 .E8 G3]

Frank Gonzalez, Dialectic and Dialogue: Plato’s Practice of Philosophical Inquiry [Robarts Library: B398 .D5 G66 1998X]

Thomas Gould, Platonic Love [Robarts Library: B398 .L9 G6]

Charles L. Griswold, Jr., Platonic Writings/Platonic Readings, [Robarts Library: B395 .P549 1988]

__________, “Style and Philosophy: the Case of Plato’s Dialogues,” The Monist 63 (1980): 530-546 [available online through the University of Toronto Library catalogue]

W.K.C. Guthrie, History of Greek Philosophy, Volume IV [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B171 .G83 1967 v.4]

John Hare, Plato’s Euthyphro

Drew Hyland, Plato and the Question of Beauty [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B398 .A4 H95 2008]

__________, Virtue of Philosophy: Interpretation of Plato’s “Charmides” [Robarts Library: B366 .H94]

Terence H. Irwin, Plato’s Moral Theory [Robarts Library: B398 .E8 I78]

Aryeh Kosman, Plato and Aristotle: the Genesis of Western Thought

Richard Kraut, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Plato [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B395 .C28 1992 ; Robarts Library: B395 .C28 1992]

A.A. Krenz, “Dramatic Form and Philosophical Content in Plato’s Dialogues,” Philosophy and Literature 7 (1983): 32-47 [available online through University of Toronto Library catalogue]

Mitchell Miller, On the Dramatic Structure of Plato’s Statesman (Introduction) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: JC71 .P314 M54 2004]

Alexander Nehamas, The Art of Living: Socratic Reflections from Plato to Foucault [Robarts Library: BJ1595 .N37 1998X]

Martha Nussbaum, The Fragility of Goodness (Chs. 4-7) [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BJ192 .N8]

__________, “The Speech of Alcibiades: a Reading of Plato’s Symposium,” Philosophy and Literature 3 (1979): 131-172 [available online through University of Toronto Library catalogue]

Richard Patterson, “The Platonic Art of Comedy and Tragedy,” Philosophy and Literature 6 (1982): 76-93 [available online through University of Toronto Library catalogue]

Greg Recco, Athens Victorious: Democracy in Plato’s Republic [ICS Library Reserve Shelf:

JC 71 .R38 2008 ; Robarts Library: JC71 .P6 R38 2008X]

Stanley Rosen, Plato’s Symposium [Victoria University, Pratt Library: B385 .R6 1999]

John Russon and John Sallis, eds., Retracing the Platonic Text [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: PA4291 .R48 2000 ; St. Michael’s College Library: PA4291 .R48 2000]

John Sallis, Being and Logos: Reading the Platonic Dialogues [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B395 .S23 1996 ; Trinity College Library: B395 .S23 1996]

Dominic Scott, Maieusis: Essays on Ancient Philosophy in Honour of Myles Burnyeat [Robarts Library: B111 .M35 2007 and e-book through UTL]

Devin Stauffer, The Unity of Plato’s “Gorgias”: Rhetoric, Justice, and the Philosophic Life [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B371 .S73 2006 ; St. Michael’s College Library: B371 .S73 2006]

Robert Sweetman, ed., In the Phrygian Mode: Neo-Calvinism, Antiquity, and the Lamentations of Reformational Philosophy [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B4041 .I57 2007]

A.E. Taylor, Plato [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B395 .T25 1956]

Jean-Pierre Vernant, Mythe et Pensée Chez Les Grecs [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B172 .V465]

Gregory Vlastos, Plato: a Collection of Critical Essays [Victoria University, Pratt Library: B395 .P57 1978 v.1-2]

__________, “The Individual as Object of Love in Plato’s Dialogues,” in The Philosophy of Socrates: a Collection of Critical Essays, 1-34. [Robarts Library: B317 .V55]

D. H. T. Vollenhoven, Introduction to Philosophy [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: BD28 .V65 2005]

__________, “Plato’s Realisme” in Philosophia Reformata, 1963, S. 97-133 [ICS Library: PER]

__________,  “The Course of Plato’s Development

Catherine Zuckert, Plato’s Philosophers: the Coherence of the Dialogues [Trinity College Library: B395 .Z77 2009]

__________, Postmodern Platos: Nietzsche, Gadamer, Heidegger, Strauss and Derrida [ICS Library Reserve Shelf: B395 .Z78 1996 ; Robarts Library: B395 .Z78 1996X]

Schedule of Readings

(marginal numbers, followed by pages in Hackett)

January 11

Laches--On Courage

178a-185e (pp. 665-671)

Introducing Socrates

January 18

185e-201c (pp. 671-686)

Two generals show their characters in discussing courage

January 25

Lysis--On Friendship

203e-221c (pp. 688-695)

Talking with a young person; the age of majority

February 1

211c-223b (pp. 695-707)

The psychology and metaphysics of friendship

February 8

Charmides--On Moderation

153a-162c (pp. 640-649)

Manners and the formation of character

February 15

162e-176d (pp. 649-663)

The psychology and epistemology of self-possession/moderation

February 22

No Class

February 29

Symposium--On Eros

172a-185e (pp. 458-470)

Opening; speeches on eros by Phaedrus and Pausanias

March 7

185e-194e (pp. 470-477)

Speeches on eros by Eryximachus and Aristophanes

March 14

194e-212c (pp. 477-494)

Speeches on eros by Agathan, Socrates, and Diotima

March 21

212c-223d (pp. 494-505)

Alcibiades’ speech; ending

March 28

Gorgias--On Rhetoric

447a-461b (pp. 792-805)

Conversation with Gorgias

April 4

461b-481b (pp. 805-826)

Conversation with Polus

Paper abstract due

April 11

481b-527e (pp. 826-869)

Conversation with Callicles