Reason and Persuasion: Online course by National University of Singapore

By Shweta

Want to learn more about Philosophy? Reason and Persuasion: Thinking Through Three Dialogues By Plato is an online course offered by National University of Singapore. The course is available on coursera.

About the Course:

In this course we study the ancient, Socratic art of blowing up your beliefs as you go, to make sure they're built to last. We spend six weeks studying three Platonic dialogues - "Euthyphro", "Meno", "Republic" Book I - then two weeks pondering a pair of footnotes to Plato: contemporary moral theory and moral psychology. Platonic? Socratic? Socrates was the teacher, but he said he never did. Plato was the student who put words in his teacher's mouth. You'll get a feel for it.

Online course by National University of Singapore


There is a book provided: the new 4th edition of "Reason and Persuasion", by the instructor (and his wife, Belle Waring, the translator.) It contains the Plato you need, plus introductory material and in-depth, chapter-length commentaries. (Don't worry! John Holbo knows better than to read his book to the camera. The videos cover the same material, but the presentation is different.) The book is offered free in PDF form - the whole thing, and individual chapter slices. It is also available in print and other e-editions. The course is suitable for beginning students of Plato and philosophy, but is intended to offer something to more advanced students as well. We seek new, odd angles on old, basic angles. Tricky! The strategy is to make a wide-ranging, interdisciplinary approach. Lots of contemporary connections, to make the weird bits intuitive; plus plenty of ancient color, still bright after all these years. So: arguments and ideas, new possibilities, old stories, fun facts.

What will one learn in the course?

Given is the syllabus of the course where each module will be completed in each week.

  • Plato's Euthyphro I: Bad Dads, Good Arguments
  • Plato's Euthyphro II: Two Problems
  • Plato's Meno: What is Virtue?
  • Plato's Meno: Virtue - Geometry - Virtue.
  • Plato's Republic, Book I: Again, With Fathers and Sons
  • Plato's Republic, Book I: Thrasymachus.
  • Moral Psychology
  • Ethics and Ethnos

Course fee:

  • The course is free of cost and has no certification
  • The course has started from October 24

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