Centre for Continuing Education

Philosophy Course: How Socrates 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.

Socrates is arguably the most unforgettable, if not the most influential, philosopher in the western philosophical tradition. If Plato, among others, is to be believed, Socrates was an innovative thinker in metaphysics, logic, epistemology and ethics, to name but four branches of philosophy. He not only addressed the question of the meaning of human existence, he also shed new light on the form and meaning of the question itself; he not only called upon us to know ourselves, he argued that an unreflective life is not a fully lived life at all. He was a revolutionary (and influential) communicator. In this philosophy course we examine some of his major contributions to debates about the nature and meaning of human being, the nature and meaning of goodness, and the nature and meaning of an examined life, love and wisdom.

Aims

This philosophy course aims to provide participants:

  1. a critical examination of Socratic dialectic.
  2. a critical examination of Socrates' exploration of the nature and meaning of human being (metaphysics).
  3. a critical examination of Socrates' exploration of the nature and meaning of human goodness (ethics).
  4. a critical examination of Socrates' arguments on the examined life, love and wisdom.

Outcomes

Upon completion of this philosophy course participants should have:

  1. an understanding of Socratic dialectic.
  2. an understanding of Socrates' exploration of the nature and meaning of human being (metaphysics).
  3. an understanding of Socrates' exploration of the nature and meaning of human goodness (ethics).
  4. an understanding of Socrates' arguments on the examined life, love and wisdom.

Content

This philosophy course will cover the following content:

  • Introduction: On Socratic Questioning
  • The nature and meaning of human being (metaphysics)
  • The nature and meaning of goodness (ethics)
  • On the examined life, love and wisdom.

Intended Audience

This philosophy course has no prerequisites, participants who have not studied philosophy will find this a useful introduction; those who have studied some philosophy should find that it complements their studies. The philosophy course is intended as a general introduction.

Delivery Style

This philosophy course will be question and discussion based, and interactive, wherever possible.

Recommended Reading

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
Nussbaum, Martha, Cultivating Humanity
Belfiore, Elizabeth S., Socrates' daimonic art: love for wisdom in four platonic dialogues.
Guthrie W.K.C., Socrates
Lampert, Laurence, How philosophy became Socratic: a study of Plato’s Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic
Moore, C., Socrates and self-knowledge
Morrison, D.R., Editor, The Cambridge companion to Socrates [electronic resource]
Rudebusch, G., Socrates
Taylor, C.C.W., Socrates
Younis, R A., On the Ethical Life

Features

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