This is our catalog of courses. We will occasionally adjust the course listing to reflect the addition of new courses and the retirement of others.
Learn Plato’s writings and how they have had an influence throughout history (and are still relevant today) — and discover the Universal Truth of our Catholic faith.
In this course, we will read a work by the famous philosopher Plato titled Gorgias, a book often used to introduce students to basic philosophical thinking. In it, Plato depicts a conversation between Socrates and Gorgias (as well as other historical characters of ancient Greece), discussing the nature of persuasion, as well as the nature of good and evil. Progression though the text will be gradual and covered in detail through class lectures and discussions, giving students enough time to learn the fundamentals of reading philosophy.
Week 1 – Introduction
Week 2 through 4 – Socrates vs. Gorgias on the purpose of persuasion (447a-466a)
Week 5 through 6 – Socrates vs. Polus on the purpose of justice (466b-481a)
Week 7 through 8 – Socrates vs. Callicles on the difference between what is lawful and what is natural (481b-491d)
Week 9 through 13 – Socrates vs. Callicles on the difference between what is pleasurable and what is good (491e-520b)
Week 14 – Socrates on the afterlife (520c-527e)
Gorgias by Plato, translated by Donald J. Zeyl (Hackett) ISBN-10: 0872200167 / ISBN-13: 978-0872200166
More expensive option (However, a very good deal if you plan to continue to the spring course and/or read other works by Plato): Plato: Complete Works by Plato, edited by John M. Cooper and D.S. Hutchinson (Hackett) ISBN-10: 0872203492 / ISBN-13: 978-0872203495
Note: Get the printed versions because electronic versions might lack the Stephanus numbering in the margins, which this course uses to assign the readings.
Homework: Homework will involve daily reading assignments and answering open-book review questions. There will also be occasional a closed-book quizzes, including a final exam. Extra credit may be given for good in-class participation. Plus, an optional essay will be offered.