Plato’s Ethics for Beginners

Plato’s moral thought is foundational for Western culture. He attempted, controversially, to ground morality in human reason, rather than custom, superstition, or sentiment. This seminar will introduce some of Plato’s basic ethical arguments as they appear in his dialogue the Gorgias. The dialogue poses a disturbing challenge to its readers: learn what is truly good for you or live the life of a slave. Readings for this seminar are optional. Previous study of philosophy is not required.

Dates: 10.4, 10.11, 10.18, 10.26*
Time: 5:30-6:45pm

Reading schedule:

10/4: Plato, Gorgias, pp. 1-18, 22-26
10/11: pp. 22-50.
10/18: pp. 51-69, 76-84.
10/26: pp. 76-97, 107-113. **This seminar has been moved to Wednesday evening.

All readings from Plato’s Gorgias (Hackett).