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    A study of the philosophy of Socrates and Plato. Topics covered include love, death, the soul, virtue, knowledge, happiness, and the nature of reality.

    Socrates and his pupil Plato were two of the greatest minds, not just in the Classical world, but in the history of Western thought. They used their intellectual gifts to question the nature of truth, justice and virtue in an attempt to understand how life should be lived. Often, such ideas ran counter to conventional Greek 'wisdom.' This ultimately led to the trial and execution of Socrates, which in turn spurred on Plato to found the Academy and influence great minds for centuries to come.

    About this paper

    Paper title Love, Death and the Good Life: Socrates and Plato
    Subject Classical Studies
    EFTS 0.15
    Points 18 points
    Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
    Domestic Tuition Fees ( NZD ) $981.75
    International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.
    18 200-level CLAS, GREK or LATN points or 18 200-level PHIL points or one of (GEND 201, GEND 208, POLS 202, POLS 208, POLS 233 or PSYC 204)
    CLAS 440
    Schedule C
    Arts and Music
    Teaching staff
    Lecturer: Dr Sean McConnell
    Paper Structure

    Topics covered include love, death, the soul, virtue, knowledge, happiness, and the nature of reality.


    Plato, Meno and Other Dialogues (tr. R. Waterfield) Oxford, 2005.

    Plato, Phaedo (tr. D. Gallop) Oxford, 1993.

    Plato, Symposium (tr. R. Waterfield) Oxford, 1994.

    Plato, Phaedrus (tr. R. Waterfield) Oxford, 2002.

    Graduate Attributes Emphasised
    Scholarship, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation.
    View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
    Learning Outcomes

    Students who successfully complete this paper will have:

    • A knowledge of several of Plato's philosophical dialogues
    • An understanding of the central ethical issues that these dialogues address
    • A knowledge of the intellectual world in which these dialogues were composed
    • The ability to analyse Plato's arguments critically and assess their contribution to philosophical thought
    • The skills of effective written communication, including the construction of clear and logical argument


    Semester 1

    Teaching method
    This paper is taught On Campus
    Learning management system


    Stream Days Times Weeks
    A1 Tuesday 13:00-13:50 9-13, 15-22
    Thursday 13:00-13:50 9-13, 15-16, 18-22
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