The Myths That Plato Told – Part 1


Course description

Plato was a great storyteller, and in several works he conveyed his message with stories rather than philosophical arguments. In this discussion seminar we select two of these stories, connecting Plato's treatment with other ancient sources and interpreting the myths in terms of Plato's own philosophy. In his Protagoras, Plato tells a version of the Prometheus myth to explain why only humans have technology and social norms. In his Timaeus and Critias, Plato invents a new story out of old elements, the myth of a remote island civilization called Atlantis, to explain the human tendencies towards greed, corruption and aggression.

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