Plato: Exam 

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Choose A, B or C from the list below:

A. COMPOSE A DIALOGUE between two or more characters on the subject of a virtue of your choice. Two important rules. First, at least one of the speakers in your dialogue must be committed to a serious examination of the subject. Second, the virtue that you select should have some general or widespread appeal as a characteristic of goodness (such as, for example: courage, compassion, honesty, intelligence, industriousness, self-control, patriotism).

B. BELIEF AND DOUBT. In the Euthyphro Socrates picks apart Euthyphro's beliefs, and in the Phaedo, Simmias and Cebes pick apart Socrates' beliefs. Two questions. First, how does Plato attempt to show that Socrates' beliefs are more worthy than Euthyphro's beliefs? Second, how valid are these methods for distinguishing between better and worse beliefs? (Note: you should find that Plato uses a number of methods to show the superiority of Socrates' beliefs; the different methods may or may not all be equally valid in your judgment, however.) 

C. COMPARE AND CONTRAST HOMER AND PLATO AS ARTISTS. You may wish to consider any or all of the following points: their choices of subject matters, their styles or techniques, their apparent purposes or intentions, their effects or influences; their reputations or places in history.


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Copyright  2001


READINGS for Powers of Literature
(with Lesson numbers):

1. Genesis 1
Creation Story

1. Genesis 11
Babel Story

2. Odyssey 8
Odysseus' voyage 1

3. Iliad 1-2
Achilles' anger

4. Iliad 9
Mission to Achilles

4. Peleus & Thetis
ancient sources

5. Iliad 15 ff
Death of Patroklos

6. Iliad 20 ff
Burial of Hektor

7. Odyssey 13-18
Return of Odysseus

8. Odyssey 20-24
City of Dreams

9. Life of Alexander
the Homeric king

10. Origins of writing
ancient sources

11. Plato, Euthyphro
Socrates gets busted

12. Plato, Apology
Socrates on trial

13. Plato, Crito
Socrates in jail

14. Plato, Phaedo
Socrates in heaven

15. Luke, Acts
Paul does Christ

16. Saint Francis
gospel without text

17. Chretien, The Knight of the Cart
Sire Lance's genes

18. Virgil, Aeneid
Aeneas & Dido