The Socratic philosophers: Plato

Course Dates: 05/06/23 - 26/06/23
Time: 19:00 - 20:30
Location: Online
Plato’s philosophy is the foundation of Western thought. It remains essential to a philosophical understanding the human condition.
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £69.00 Senior fee £69.00 Concession £35.00

Course Code: HP163

Mon, eve, 05 Jun - 26 Jun '23

Duration: 4 sessions (over 4 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This is a basic introduction to the philosophy of Plato, of which his ‘Republic’ & ‘Phaedrus’ will form the core. The way in which Plato presents the human condition will be explored with reference to his questioning of the reality of the world that we experience. His recommendations as to the organisation of an ideal society will also be examined with a view to thinking about its contemporary relevance.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

The ‘simile of the Cave’ will form the basis for an exposition of Plato’s account of the human condition.

Plato’s theory of eternal ‘forms’ (ideas) that underwrite reality with reference to his thinking about Beauty in the Phaedrus.

The organisation and operation of his ‘Republic’ and what this ‘ideal society’ might offer us today.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Briefly, discuss what Plato’s ‘forms’ (ideas) are.
Briefly, discuss the benefits or otherwise of Plato’s ‘Republic’.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

No prior knowledge is assumed, and the level will tend to adjust to the overall level of participants. A willingness to critically and creatively engage with ideas and some basic familiarity with discussion/debate, argument, and evaluation will be beneficial.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

Teaching methods will include verbal exposition, slides w. whiteboard, discussion and Q&A.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

None. Materials for your own note-taking, as you prefer.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

You might be interested in the follow-on Socratic philosophers course, HP164 - The Socratic philosophers: Aristotle, taught by the same tutor. Please see City Lit's website for full listings of philosophy courses.

John Goff Tutor Website

From reading Philosophy at a young age to the formal study of Cognitive Science, Philosophy & Psychology at the Universities of London and Sussex - after a prior career in video-arts - John Goff has been presenting philosophy courses to adults since the early 2000s. He uses a cross-disciplinary, seminar-based approach in his courses, drawing on Philosophy, Psychology and the wider Humanities & Social Sciences with an emphasis on the intersection of contemporary and classical European and Asian philosophical thought. He is the author of several works of philosophical fiction concerning artificial minds and organisms and alternative-human worlds including the novel 'The Last Days of the Most Hidden Man' and the novellas 'Eidopolis', 'Agents of Erasure', 'Jupiter|Saturn' and 'Sleep|Nothing|Asylum'. His academic writings can be found on his page at ''.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.