PHI305: Intensive Study of a Text in Classical Philosophy

Key details

Unit typeElective unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hoursDelivered in intensive mode over 2 weeks
Offered inSummer (17-28 Jan 2022)
Tuition feeVisit www.campion.edu.au/tuition


The Phaedo is a dramatization of Socrates’ final conversation with friends in prison, before drinking hemlock and dying. (Drinking the hemlock was his appointed punishment after he was found guilty by the city of Athens of denying the city’s gods and corrupting the young.) In it, Socrates describes his own life as a philosopher, relates his dissatisfaction with the philosophic teaching he encountered as a youth and his resultant turn towards a new way of pursuing wisdom, and explores arguments for the immortality of the soul. The class will read the entire dialogue, in a scrupulously literal translation, paying careful attention both to its philosophical content and to its literary character. A copy of the text will be provided to all enrolled students.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit of study, students will be able to:

a) Demonstrate an understanding of the major themes and questions in the text.
b) Evaluate critically the arguments presented in the text;
c) Appreciate the significance of the author’s choice of the literary form of the text;
d) Write well-argued and well-structured essays and appropriately use references and bibliographies according to academic conventions.

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