The Beautiful City: Plato’s Republic (PHI4402.01)

Catherine McKeen

In Plato’s masterwork, Republic, Socrates sets out to construct a political community that is maximally just. This is the kallipolis, the “beautiful city.” Central elements of this city are problematic. The kallipolis is decidedly undemocratic, artistic expression is strictly limited, and jobs are assigned, not freely chosen. On the other hand, the Republic radically reimagines education, private property, consumerism, the family, and gender politics. Above all, the kallipolis is designed to promote “the common good.” So, what is “the common good”? How should we value it? How should we balance the common good against private interests? We will investigate these questions in the context of Plato’s Republic. We will use the methods of philosophical analysis, argument, and close reading. In addition to closely reading the Republic, we’ll engage with responses to the Republic and its key ideas.

Delivery Method: Entirely remote (synchronous)
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 1:40PM - 3:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 14
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: All courses , Philosophy , Entirely Remote
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