Plato: Final Paper Topics

Philosophy 190:Plato
Fall, 2014
Prof. Hadreas
Topics for the Last Paper
The third paper will be due on the day of the final exam which is Wednesday, December,
17th. Please bring your paper either to my office or leave it in my mailbox in the
Philosophy Department office. The length of the final paper should be approximately
seven to eight pages (doubled-spaced). Choose from the following topics.
1. In the Sophist, the Eleatic Visitor provides many definitions of a sophist, e. g. one who
conceitedly or insincerely acts as if wise, when in fact s/he is not. Discuss in what way
Plato, in repeatedly attempting to define the sophist, implicitly informs us about the
nature and beliefs of the genuine philosopher.
2. In the Sophist p. 287, 263D), the Eleatic Visitor encapsulates the conditions of a false
"But if someone says things about you, but says different things as the
same or not beings as beings, then it definitely seems that false speech
really and truly arises from that kind of putting together of verbs and
Compare and contrast this account of false statements, without other theories of false
statements such as the correspondence theory, the coherence theory, pragmatist theory,
and/or a deflationist-based theory.
3. In the Statesman (p. 351, 305D), the Eleatic Visitor arrives at the following
characterization of genuine statesmanship:
"Visitor: If then one looks at all the sorts of expert knowledge that
have been discussed, it must be observed that none of them has been
declared to be statesmanship. For what is really kingship must not
itself perform practical tasks, but control those with the capacity to
perform them, because it knows what it is the right time to begin and
set in motion the most important things in cities, and when it is the
wrong time; and the others must do what has been prescribed for
Explain how Plato arrives at this definition and why he thinks that, in reality, the
application of statesmanship needs to be limited by laws.
(turn over for more)
4. In the Philebus 13E-17A, Cooper 401-5 Plato explains the method of doing
philosophy, dialectically as opposed to eristically (p. 405, 17A). Discuss this method
and, as appropriate, illustrate its use with some example(s) drawn from sources outside of
Plato’s works.
5. In the Philebus (66A-C, p 455) , Socrates makes the highest good, the good of rank #1,
". . . what is somehow connected with measure, the measured and the timely and
whatever else is to be considered similar." He makes the good of rank #2, the "wellproportioned and beautiful, the perfect and self-sufficient and whatever else belong in
that family." Rank #3 is "reason and intelligence." At rank #4 are ". . . the sciences and
arts, and what we called right opinions. . ." Pleasure appears only as fifth on the list, and
only those pure pleasures which are painless and attached to knowledge to sensation.
Discuss and comment on Socrates demoting of pleasure to a fifth-rank place among
human goods.