Course meets during the first seven weeks only, First Class: January 24; Last Class: March 7. Open to juniors and seniors only.
‘Corrupting the youth’ of Athens? Virtue in action? Threat to the body politic? Model citizen? Plato’s Socrates presents a conundrum for ancient and modern thought. In his brilliant dialogue, the Apology , Plato recreates Socrates’ defense of himself at his trial in 399 BCE for (among other things) ‘corrupting the youth’ of his city. The Apology sits at the intersection of law, politics, philosophy, religion, erotics, and pedagogy. In this course, we read the Apology closely, exploring it as philosophical reflection, courtroom oratory, literary text—and as gripping drama. Supplementary readings address: intellectual milieu, historical and political context, questions of genre.