PHEB105 The Philosophy of Socrates and Plato


The course gives a broad overview of the life and philosophy of Socrates and Plato. Key themes and concepts are introduced throughout the course. The lectures are complemented with seminars dealing with some of the most significant Plato’s dialogs. One of the main goals of the course is to link the platonic concepts and problems with contemporary issues not only to show their significance but to apply them to the contemporary human situation.

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Assoc. Prof. Iassen Zahariev, PhD

Course Description:


Successful graduates of the course students:

1) know:

• The basic ideas in Plato’s philosophy.

• The historical background of Platonic philosophy

• The relevance of Plato’s philosophy to various contemporary political, ethical and epistemological issues.

2) can:

• Apply various theories and concepts.

• Analyse philosophical texts.

• Contextualize contemporary social problems and their connection with the philosophy of Plato.


Full-time Programmes

Types of Courses:

Language of teaching:


  1. Greek culture and philosophy at the time of Socrates and Plato
  2. What is it to be a sophist?
  3. The life and death of Socrates. The examined life
  4. The dialogue as a form of life
  5. Plato’s account of Socrates
  6. Knowledge and opinion
  7. Plato’s ideas and the reality of things
  8. What is the nature of the soul?
  9. Plato’s political philosophy in the Republic and Laws
  10. Main topics in Plato’s Republic
  11. How to build the ideal city?
  12. Justice in the city and in the soul
  13. What is Beauty?
  14. The purpose of philosophy
  15. Dialogues and texts. Philosophy and Rhetoric.


Annas, Julia. Plato. A very short introduction.

Benson, Hugh H. (ed). A Companion to Plato

Ferrari, G. R. F. The Cambridge companion to Plato’s Republic

Kraut, Richard (ed). The Cambridge companion to Plato

Morgan, Kathryn.Myth and philosophy from the pre-Socratics to Plato

Pappas, Nickolas. Plato and the Republic

Plato. Collected works

Russel, Daniel. Plato on Pleasure and the Good Life

Taylor, A. E. Socrates: the man and his thought

Vlastos, Gregory. Platonic studies

West, Thomas. Four texts on Socrates


Mid-semester exams:

1. Analysis;

2. Annotation;

End-semester exam:

1. Presentation;

2. Discussion.