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History: E492_Plato

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PLATO, THE REPUBLIC AND PHAEDRUS


- <b>Assigned:</b> Plato. From <i>The Republic,</i> Books II, III, VII (45-63), Book X (64-77) and <i>Phaedrus</i> (77-83). <i>Norton Anthology of Criticism and Theory,</i> 2nd edition.
+ <b>Assigned:</b> Plato. From <i>The Republic,</i> Books II, III, VII (45-63), Book X (64-77) and <i>Phaedrus</i> (77-83). <i>Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism,</i> 2nd edition.

- Questions on this author will be posted in a timely manner relative to where we are in the syllabus, so please check back later.
+ <h3><i>The Republic,</i> Book 2 (circa 375 BCE)</h3>
+ 1. In Book 2, what is Socrates' notion of childhood? Why is it so important to shape a child's experience in the right way, and what is the right way to do that? Does this notion of childhood square with modern conceptions of childhood? How so or how not? (45-47)

+ 2. According to Socrates in Book 2, what is the worst "defect" or fault in the work of poets such as Hesiod and Homer? When and how is this fault committed? To what other art is this fault compared, and what inferences can you make thereby about the argument that Socrates is making here? Hint: in responding, consider the "mimetic" quality of the argument that Plato has given Socrates. (46)

+ 3. In Book 2, what are some of the unsatisfactory fictions about the gods to which Socrates objects? Discuss the reasons for his objection to such fictions, and his insistence that such scurrilous fictions must be thoroughly erased from "a well-regulated community" (49). Is it simply a matter of their lack of truth, or is there more to it than that? Explain. (46-49)

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