5231005History of Western Philosophy (Special Lectures)

Numbering Code G-LET02 65231 LJ34 Year/Term 2021 ・ First semester
Number of Credits 2 Course Type special lecture
Target Year Target Student
Language Japanese Day/Period Mon.5
Instructor name HAYASE ATSUSHI (Graduate School of Letters Associate Professor)
Outline and Purpose of the Course In the /Phaedo/ Plato puts forward a hypothesis that "if anything else is beautiful besides the beautiful itself, it is beautiful for no reason at all other than that it participates in that beautiful; and the same goes for all of them" (100c4-6, tr. David Gallop). To put it concisely, any F thing (apart from the F-ness itself) is F by participating in the F-ness itself. Now this hypothesis is usually called by Platonic scholars as "the thoery of Forms as Causes", and the passage in which Socrates, the main interlocutor of the dialogue, proposes this hypothesis (100b1-102a10) has been thought to be one of the few crucial passages in which we can observe the transition from early Socratic philosophy to Plato's own mature thoughts. However, I am of the opinion that this hypothesis has not been sufficiently understood (in spite of the fact that a colossal number of books and articles have been published on the /Phaedo/), and that the designation of the "theory of Forms as Causes" is simply misleading. In this lecture I shall set out problems involved in this passage, and try to grasp the meaning and the role of this hypothesis in Plato's philosophy.
Course Goals At the end of the term students will have a basic understanding of Plato's metaphysics and will acquire basic skills for comprehending and critically examining various researches of metaphysics in the Western philosophy.
Schedule and Contents The lecture is organised as follows:
The 1st session: Introduction
The 2nd session: Review of problems
The 3rd session: existing interpretations (1): property interpretation
The 4th session: existing interpretations (2): (transcendent) Form interpretation
The 5th session: The final argument in the /Phaedo/ (1): outline
The 6th session: The final argument in the /Phaedo/ (2): Natural philosophers' causes
The 7th session: The final argument in the /Phaedo/ (3): the Good as the cause
The 8th session: The final argument in the /Phaedo/ (4): forms as causes
The 9th session: A new interpretation
The 10th session: The Socratic definitional dialogues (1)
The 11th session: The Socratic definitional dialogues (2)
The 12th session: Property and the qualified status (1)
The 13th session: Property and the qualified status (2)
The 14th session: The significance of Plato's theory in the history of Western philosophy
The 15th session: Review and feedback
Evaluation Methods and Policy Final term essay
Course Requirements None
Study outside of Class (preparation and review) Participants will be given a list of books and articles essential for understanding Plato's metaphysics. They are expected to prepare for the lecture by reading some of these books and articles in advance.