Monday, April 07, 2008
Over the years, starting in my first year as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, I have read and reread the works of Plato. Most recently, in the Basic Program of Liberal Education at The University of Chicago, I had the opportunity to read and discuss many of the dialogues. As part of this program's offering of "Alumni" courses I am currently rereading Plato's dialogue, Protagoras. This dialogue focuses primarily on the question of virtue and whether it may be taught. In particular, Plato presents the sophist Protagoras as interlocutor for Socrates, along with an impressive supporting cast including Alcibiades and others. Over the next ten weeks I plan to read, discuss and think about the issues presented in this dialogue. I expect to find my love for philosophy reinforced and, perhaps I may learn a bit about the nature of virtue. If it truly can be taught.
Protagoras by Plato. Stanley Lombardo and Karen Bell, trans. Hackett Publishing Company, Indianapolis. 1992.