Faculty of Arts

Monash University

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitPhilosophy
OfferedNot offered in 2014
Coordinator(s)Dirk Baltzly


Previously coded PHL2130


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.


Students who successfully complete this unit will:

  1. Be able to explain central themes from the work of Plato in the

light of scholarship on the subject

  1. Be able to identify important harmonies and divergences between the

works of Plato and subsequent platonist philosophers

  1. Be able to identify analytic connections between the works of Plato

and contemporary work in metaphysics and epistemology

  1. Develop an ability to read, interpret, and analyse historical

philosophical texts from the Ancient Greek and Roman traditions

  1. Learn how to make use of major reference works in Plato scholarship


Written work: 60% (2500 words)
Exam: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Two 1-hour lectures per week
One 1-hour tutorial per week

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Six points of first year philosophy or with permission.

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: