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The Philosopher vs. the City: Selections from Plato’s “Apology”

Date: Tuesday, Aug. 17 | 7:00–8:30 PM EDT

Since antiquity, the Apology of Socrates has served as a foundational text of Western philosophy. In this course, we will study selections from Plato’s reconstruction of Socrates’ defense speech before the city of Athens prior to his being condemned to death, and we will consider the significance of courtroom speech as the proper vehicle for conveying the essence of philosophy as Plato understood it. Key themes to be discussed include the nature of the philosophical life, the relationship between philosophy and citizenship, and whether philosophy harms or benefits the city. We will also consider rhetorical elements of Socrates’ speech and the role irony plays in how Socrates interacts with his accusers.

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