Harvard University,  FAS
Spring 1998

Philosophy 103

Plato’s Metaphysics


Catalog Number: 8932
Half course (spring term).
M., W., (F.), at 11.

An examination of Plato’s most famous contribution to the history of philosophy, the theory of forms. Curiously, the only dialogue that presents a theory of forms as its official focus, the Parmenides, then subjects it to a devastating critique. Elsewhere Plato introduces forms while treating other topics such as the immortality of the soul or the education of the philosopher-king. We will discuss the motivations for introducing forms in the Phaedo and the Republic, then consider the Parmenides’ objections, and finally examine Plato’s response to the criticisms in his treatment of not-being and falsehood in the Sophist.

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URL: http://www.courses.fas.harvard.edu/~phil103

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