Centre for Continuing Education

Philosophy Course: How Plato Can Change Your Life

Philosophy. Study the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality and existence.

Learn about philosophy the smart way with Philosophy courses at the University of Sydney.

Plato is arguably the most grand and influential philosopher in the western philosophical tradition. He was an extraordinarily innovative thinker in many areas: metaphysics, logic, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, politics, law and education, to name but a few. He not only addressed the question of the meaning of human existence and our place in the cosmos, he also shed new light on the form and meaning of such questioning; he not only called upon us to know ourselves, after Socrates, he argued that it is in our nature to think and to reflect and it is in the nature of philosophy to teach us how to think for ourselves. He was also a revolutionary writer.

We examine some of his major contributions to debates about the nature and meaning of human being, the nature and meaning of goodness, the nature and meaning of reflection in relation to a fully examined life, and the place of love, wisdom and enlightenment.

Aims

  1. To critically explore Platonic dialectics, and his debt to Socrates
  2. To critically explore Plato’s work on the nature and meaning of thinking and critical reflection
  3. To critically explore Plato’s work on the nature and meaning of human freedom (ethics)
  4. To critically explore Plato’s work on the relationship between freedom, love, wisdom and enlightenment.

Outcomes

At the completion of this philosophy course students should have:

  1. an understanding of Platonic dialectics, and his debt to Socrates
  2. an understanding of Plato’s work on the nature and meaning of thinking and critical reflection
  3. an understanding of Plato’s work on the nature and meaning of human freedom (ethics)
  4. an understanding of Plato’s work on the relationship between freedom, love, wisdom and enlightenment.

Content

This philosophy course will cover the following content:

10.30am – Introduction: On Platonic Questioning
11.45am – Break
12pm – On the nature and meaning of thinking and critical reflection
1pm – Lunch
2pm – On the nature and meaning of human freedom (ethics)
3pm – Break
3.20pm – On the relationship between freedom, love, wisdom and enlightenment
5pm – Close

Intended Audience

General audience

Delivery Style

Tutorial

Recommended Reading

Hare, Plato
Magee, B., Story of Philosophy
McMahon, DM, The Pursuit of Happiness: A History from the Greeks to the Present
Nozick, Robert, The Examined Life: Philosophical Meditations
Lampert, Laurence, How philosophy became socratic: a study of Plato’s Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic

Features

  • Expert trainers
  • Central locations
  • Small class sizes
  • Free, expert advice
  • Student materials – yours to keep
  • Statement of completion

What others say.

  • I thought the course on Plato was fantastic and the presenter was amazing. I couldn’t sleep last night thinking about everything that was discussed. I will certainly do another course with this tutor.

  • This was my first philosophy course and I was very impressed. The lecturer was great and encouraged open dialogue which lead to good class discussion. I would highly recommend this course.