English 84

Sophomore Seminar: Socrates as Cultural Icon

Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
2 Fall 2006 Coolidge, John S.
Coolidge, John
Tues. 2-4 205 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

The assigned texts are Four Texts on Socrates and Plato�s Phaedo; these will be supplemented by a reader illustrating various historical interpretations of �know thyself� etc. and by e-mail attachments on occasion.


Socrates has often been compared to Jesus, an enigmatic yet somehow unmistakable figure who left nothing in writing yet decisively influenced the mind of his own and later ages. We will read the principal contemporary representations of Socrates�Aristophanes� comic send-up in Clouds and the Platonic dialogues purporting to tell the story of Socrates� trial and death�attempting to discern the historical Socrates and trace the construction of the Icon. Students will be asked to keep a journal assessing the relevance of issues which the trial and death of Socrates bring into focus to ones involved in our contemporary �culture wars,� e.g.:

Other Recent Sections of This Course

Back to Semester List