BA, University of Chicago, 2015
Ancient Philosophy, esp. Plato and Aristotle; Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 29200-05/29300-05 Junior/Senior Tutorial
Topic: Reality and Truth: Plato and the Problem of Being
We will confront foundational questions about the nature of truth and reality through an intensive study of Plato’s Sophist. Questions about what is real are familiar to us. We wonder whether people are being fake with us, or whether God exists, or whether there is really such a ‘thing’ as justice. But there is also a prior and more fundamental question: What does it mean for something to be real? This is known in philosophy as ‘The Problem of Being.’ Plato’s Sophist is one of the Western philosophical tradition’s most searching attempts to answer this question. We will try to follow in Plato’s footsteps. Major themes of the course will include: reality vs. mere appearance; authenticity vs. pretending; truth and falsehood; and the difference between beings (entities, things) and their being. Readings will include works by John McDowell, Lesley Brown, and Martin Heidegger.
Meets with Jr/Sr section. Open only to intensive-track and philosophy majors. No more than two tutorials may be used to meet program requirements. No knowledge of Greek is necessary.