Course Description for Socrates and the Sophists
Socrates and the Sophists
This course introduces students to Socratic thought on a focused, intensive level. Students will read the central dialogues of Plato that present Socrates arguing against the most influential teachers of ancient Athens, the Sophists. In the process of reading these works, students will analyze Socrates's arguments that virtue consists in wisdom and that the life of continuous self-examination and striving for virtue is superior to the life of political power based on rhetorical prowess. Students will also determine for their own lives whether they prefer the life of a philosopher, and the values on which it is founded, or the life of the Sophist and master of rhetoric.