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August 16 - Greek Philosophy (Plato)

Page history last edited by David Walter 11 years, 9 months ago




Athens, present day                                                                                                                           Socrates, copy of 4th century bust, Lyssipos                      




Reading: APOLOGY-Plato.pdf


On your own: Find a passage where you find Socrates to be particularly persuasive. What kinds of argumentation does he employ? Now find a passage where he fails to convince you of something. What are the deficiencies of his argument?





Writing Thurs. 8/16

Goals: 1) stress the role of writing as a mode of persuasion. How does the writer go from analysis to shaping a convincing argument? Students learn to construct an argument based on analysis of evidence they find from a text; 2) introduce peer editing.


Prompts for partner work:


1. Read the first paragraph of THE APOLOGY out loud in your group. Make a list of all the adverbs in the paragraph. Write them down. Read the speech out loud without the adverbs. How does it change the force of the speech? Read the speech out loud again emphasizing the adverbs. How does that approach alter the speech? What can you conclude from this experiment? Can you draw any conclusions about Socrates' use of language in the speech? Can you begin to say what his intentions are? What does he think of his audience? Answer all these questions on paper.


2. Choose one moment in Socrates' speech where he tells his audience a story. Read the story out loud. Make a list of the most important details of the story. Read the list out loud to your partners. Answer the following questions on paper: What is the most striking detail of the story and why? How does it help the story? What is the least important detail of the story? Why would he include it? How does one particular detail help the story make an argument?


3. Find an example of Socratic elenchus. What is the starting point of the argument? What does he get his interlocutor to accept? What is the ending point? What does he get his interlocutor to admit? Identify the key points in between that allow him to get from the starting point to the ending point. Are there any steps in the argument you don't understand or agree with? Why? Explain in writing. 


4. Find a place in the speech where Socrates introduces an image or metaphor. What is the image or metaphor designed to suggest to his listeners? What would happen if you substituted this image for another one? How would it change the meaning of the passage in which it appears? Write a paragraph about this.


Advance reading of GENESIS (afternoon session):


1. Begin reading GENESIS as a class, either out loud or on your own.


2. Individually or in pairs: start making a list of critical questions for the opening of GENESIS. What questions or problems do you have with the reading? What don't you understand that you would like to have explained? Write these down and discuss. Refine the questions, either in groups or as a class.


3. Prepare a list of critical questions to turn in to Nicole and Davy at the beginning of class tomorrow.


Preparation for the next day

Read THE BACCHAE by Euripides.



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