While each session will be somewhat self-contained (such that you can attend a stand-alone session at still benefit), we’ll also try to see the tightly woven structure of Plato’s dialogue as a whole, how all the parts come together in a deeply interconnected argument that moves freely between diverse registers, including: observations from daily life and history, creative and lively thought-experiments, meticulous arguments from first principles, and epic poetry and myth. Participating in as many sessions as possible will allow more time to make and experience these larger connections.
Roughly, the main themes for each week, as we step through the text together, will include:
- The Ring of Invisibility, and the Burning Fever of Greed – Books I & II
- A Mythic Education: Poetry and Character – Books III & IV
- Seeing and Knowing: The Allegories of the Line and the Cave — Books V & VI
- What’s Wrong with Democracy? — Books VII & VIII
- Choosing our Lives: Vindicating Justice — Books IX & X
Any translation of Plato’s dialogue will be appropriate, and it might even be helpful if, as a group, we can compare several of them. If you don’t already have a copy, we highly recommend the version for G.M.A. Grube, revised by C.D.C. Reeve (Hackett Publishing), available very cheaply in paperback.
So, come from the torchlit relay race on horseback, stay for the ring of invisibility, and the deep lessons about how, and why, we can cultivate our own character.