Sustained engagement with Plato's dialogues, promoting philosophical encounter with issues which are foundational to Western thought, including knowledge, justice, truth, love and immortality. The unit allows time spent with Plato's treatment of key questions to become a prism in which can be found not only his predecessors — Socrates and the pre-Socratics — but also his approach to the very art of thinking itself.

Unit code: AP3500P

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Discuss key concepts in Western philosophy— including being, knowledge, love, truth, justice, and the soul — in relation to their origin in Plato’s thought.


Analyse elements of the "elenchic" Socratic method as exhibited in the Socratic dialogues.


Reflect critically on the presuppositions which inform Plato’s thought, as these bid to be foundational in Western philosophy


Interrelate reflectively the positions found in the various dialogues.

Unit sequence

AP3500P: 18 points of philosophy at second level


Lectures and Tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Biffle, Christopher: A Guided Tour of Five Works by Plato: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo (Death Scene), Allegory of the Cave. 2nd. ed. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co., 1995.
  • Brunschwig, Jacques, and Geoffrey E. R. Lloyd (eds). A Guide to Greek Thought: Major Figures and Trends. Harvard, MA: Harvard UP, 2003.
  • Kraut, Richard, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Plato. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992.
  • Lampert, L. How Philosophy Became Socratic: A Study of Plato’s Protagoras, Charmides, and Republic. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 2010.
  • Melchert, Norman. The Great Conversation: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy. Third ed. Mountain View, CA: Mayfield Publishing Co., 1999. Plato, The Collected Dialogues of Plato, including the Letters. Ed. Edith Hamilton and Huntington Cairns. Bollingen Series 71. Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1961.
  • Santas, Gerasimos, ed..The Blackwell Guide to Plato’s Republic. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.
  • (***) Reeve, C.D.C (ed) A Plato Reader: Eight Essential Dialogues. Indianapolis/Cambridge: Hackett Publishing Co., 2012.
  • Taylor, A. E. Plato: The Man and His Work. Dover Books on Western Philosophy. New York: Dover Books, 2011.
  • Vlastos, Gregory. Socrates: Ironist and Moral Philosopher. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1991.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 2500 50.0
Essay 2500 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 21 Sep, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-09-21 19:12:10 +1000