Open to sophomores only. Course meets first seven weeks, 9/3-10/15.
This two-credit course focuses on Plato’s Republic . Our goal is two-fold: we learn the art of close reading to reveal the complex and contradictory layers of meaning in a text, and we introduce the enterprise of political theory by lingering over the central questions Plato raises. Those questions concern philosophy and its relationship to politics, the relationship between knowledge and power, the nature of justice, the role of art, poetry, and myth in politics and culture. we also read Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannos to explore the relationship between tragedy and philosophy. We analyze these issues in relation to Plato’s world, and to our own.