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PHL1130 - Plato and Platonism

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Fiona Leigh


Clayton Second semester 2007 (Day)


In the first part of this century the British philosopher A. N. Whitehead remarked that 'all philosophy is but a series of footnotes to Plato.' This unit introduces students to some of the central themes in Plato's work. These will include: the relation between knowledge, moral virtue and happiness; the immortality of the soul and reincarnation; the existence and nature of Plato's "forms" - abstractions such as beauty itself, alleged to be the source of all beautiful things here. Finally we will look at some of the developments of Plato's philosophy in neoplatonism. For more information:


Objectives: Students who successfully complete the subject will be able to explain central themes from the works of Plato in the light of scholarship on the subject and be able to offer, in modern terms, good reasons for or against the claim that Plato was right. You should also be able to incorporate into your own written work the interpretative principles (such as charity and consistency) which are used by historians of philosophy.


Essay (2500 words) : 50%
Examination (2 hours) : 50%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 1 hour lecture and 1 x 1 hour tutorial) per week


Completion of philosophy studies to an advanced secondary level, and sufficiently high grades, to the satisfaction of the Undergraduate Coordinator.