(History of Western Philosophy: Antiquity)
The texts for this course are
(available from the Campus Bookstore)
• Plato, Gorgias, Penguin Classic 0-14-044094-1
• Plato, Phaedrus and Letters, Penguin Classic 0-14-044275-8
• Aristotle, On Rhetoric: A Theory of Civic Discourse, Oxford
• Augustine of Hippo, Confessions, Penguin Classic 0-14-044144-X
A significant portion of the texts to be read for this course will be found on the MyUH website for this course in the form Weekn.doc. Other files on the site are optional reading.
Course Objectives: This course is both an introduction to philosophy and a foundation course for intending philosophy majors. It is designed to foster basic (reading and writing) skills needed to use the history of philosophy as a philosophic resource. The Philosophy Department expects that this course will introduce the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle and will cover some other significant figures, who wrote in classical Greek or Latin. The specific objective of this version of the course will be to explore the relationship between philosophy and rhetoric.
Assessment: A ‘plus and minus’ grading scale will be used with numerical equivalents based on A=10, A-=9 down to D=1. The final grade will be based on weighted averages of grades received on essays and tests and on a grade based solely on the quantity of participation exercises credited (together with a possible bonus for contributions to class discussion). Tests will count 40% toward the final grade, essays 40%, class attendance and participation 20%.
The mid-term and final tests will consist of questions (and words to be defined) selected from “review sheets” which will be issued with the blocks of assignments that will be set periodically throughout the semester. The first of these review sheets is included with this syllabus following the calendars.
This course is writing intensive. One 2-page, one 3-page and four 4-page assignments are due on the dates set out on the summary course calendar; all of these assignments must be completed to pass this course. On all these assignments you will have one week after the return of your essay with comments to redraft it for a better grade, if you are not satisfied with the grade you received on the first draft. Late essays, not submitted in time to be returned before this deadline, are not eligible for an improved grade.
Late work: Late essays will be reduced by one grade (A- to B+, etc.) and by one further grade for each subsequent week that the essay is not handed in. ‘Participation exercises’ submitted within a week of their due dates receive half credit; no credit after that. Tests taken late may receive a reduced grade at the instructor’s discretion.
Reading Assignments out of the textbooks appear by week on the course calendar below. Writing assignments and participation exercises for the first four weeks are set out on a separate sheet of paper following the first “review sheet” (below). Precise assignments (questions to be addressed, etc.) for the rest of the semester will be set in this way in three to five week blocks closer to the dates the assignments are due.
Students who wish to substitute one or more of the essay assignments with topics of their own choosing, may do so after receiving approval of a proposal from the instructor. ‘Participation’ will involve a variety of assignments including brief written answers to questions. (See ‘Assessment’ for how these contribute to the final grade.) To receive credit for a participation exercise, students must be present in class with the responses they have prepared on hard copy. (Email submissions of participation exercises receive half credit.) Students who attend class unprepared or who are unable to attend class may receive half credit for each exercise they hand in within a week of the original assignment (or in unusual circumstances, at a date agreed after consultation with the instructor.)
Advisories 1. Policy on style and on e-mail submissions: All papers must be paginated. Quotations and sources used are to be referenced in any style that conforms to appropriate standards of scholarship. Students may send their papers as email attachments and receive comments via the same medium, provided the attachment has been formatted in a manner that is “ready to print.” The instructor will, however, not print out any emailed papers.
2. Students who need reasonable accommodations because of the impact of a disability, should (i) contact the KOKUA Program, room 013, QLCSS, 956-7511 or 956-7612; (ii) speak with the instructor who will be happy to work the KOKUA Program to meet any access needs related to any documented disability.
3. “Plagiarism includes but is not limited to submitting, in fulfillment of an academic requirement, any work that has been copied in whole or in part from another individual's work without attributing that borrowed portion to the individual; neglecting to identify as a quotation another's idea and particular phrasing that was not assimilated into the student's language and style or paraphrasing a passage so that the reader is misled as to the source; submitting the same written or oral or artistic material in more than one course without obtaining authorization from the instructors involved; or "drylabbing," which includes obtaining and using experimental data and laboratory write-ups from other sections of a course or from previous terms.” (The University of Hawai’i Student Conduct Code)
The consequences of plagiarism are commonly catastrophic.
Phil 211 - Assignments for Weeks 1-3
Week 1: Week1.doc
Plato Selections from Protagoras and Theaetetus
Thomas Cole The Origins of Rhetoric I
Written assignment for Wednesday August 27: Write one page introducing yourself and attach it to, or print it on the back of, the personal information sheet that accompanies this syllabus. In doing so, indicate why you enrolled in, and what you expect from, this course and what, if any, disappointments or misgivings you feel having seen the syllabus.
Participation exercise (#1)for Friday August 29 [1p]: Answer in three to five sentences the question “How does Socrates (in the Protagoras) argue that wisdom and temperance are the same thing?”
Week 2: Plato, Gorgias 447a-461a
Thomas Cole The Origins of Rhetoric II
[Optional: Gorgias & Isocates Speeches on Helen Helen.doc]
Participation exercise (#2) for Wednesday September 3: Answer in three to five sentences the question, “How does Cole’s account (See MyUH for Week2.doc) of the evolution of texts produced by rhetoricians explain the difference in character between the defenses of Helen offered by Gorgias and by Isocrates?” (See MyUH for Helen.DOC.)
Written assignment for Friday September 5: “I think that if a man who has acquired oratorical skill then uses the power which is art confers to do wrong, that is no reason to detest his teacher and banish him from the city.” (457b) Explain how Socrates gets Gorgias to contradict himself on this point.
Week 3: Plato, Gorgias 461a-481a
Harvey Yunis The Collapse of Discourse
[Optional: Thucidides and Plato: Funeral Orations (epideictic oratory) Funerals.doc]
Participation exercise (#3) for Monday September 8: Answer in three to five sentences the questions, “Of what is Gorgias a producer? Does his profession have a modern counterpart?”
Participation exercise (#4) for Wednesday September 10: Answer in three to five sentences the questions, “How does Socrates distinguish two kinds of proof?”
Participation exercise (#5) for Friday September 12: Answer in three to five sentences the questions, “How does Socrates distinguish ‘doing what you want’ from ‘doing what is best’, and what does he do with the distinction?”
PHIL 211 - Review Sheet #1 (Weeks 1-3)
Explain the following terms or distinctions using one or two sentences.
Sophist Socratic induction virtue (aretê)
dialectic (dialegesthai) Protagorean relativism eloquence v. rhetoric
technê v. empeiria epideixis eudaimonia
kalon v. aischron pandering poiêtês v.aoidos
Answers to the following should take five or six sentences and be based on what you have read in the text or heard discussed in class.
1. Outline Protagoras argument to show that virtue is teachable.
2. What is there to recommend the doctrine of the unity of virtue?
3. On what assumptions is classical rhetoric based? How are these assumptions challenged by neo-rhetoric?
4. How would Cole explain the differences between the funeral oration by Gorgias that he quotes and the funeral orations found in Thucydides or Plato’s Menexenus?
5. How does Socrates in the Gorgias distinguish knowledge from belief?
6. How, according to Socrates in the Gorgias, is rhetoric like cookery? What should it be like?
7. What, according to Socrates in the Gorgias, is a technê?
8. Why, according to Socrates in the Gorgias, is it better for you to be punished for your misdeeds than to escape punishment?
Answers to the following should take between one and two pages and will be evaluated on the quality of arguments which are marshalled in support of the answer chosen.
1. Is doctrine like food and drink, but more hazardous because there is no “take away”? (Protagoras 313d-314b)
2. Does Protagoras in the dialogue named after him succeed in showing that virtue is teachable in the sense that young Hippocrates expects it to be taught?
3. What expertise could someone consistently offer if he embraced a doctrine of truth like that attributed to Protagoras in the Theaetetus?
4. How conclusively does Socrates argument that it is worse to do wrong than to suffer it?