Reason and Persuasion

For the first six weeks, students read three dialogues by the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato: Euthyphro, Meno, and Republic, Book I. These readings touch on a wide range of topics: mind and morals; politics and psychology; metaphysics and science. For the second six weeks, students will meet with the same problems, ideas and arguments, but as they manifest in the writings of various contemporary figures – philosophers and non-philosophers: psychologists, political scientists, public policy experts. ‘Reason and Persuasion’ is a generic title. But it indicates a specific concern. Reason without persuasion is useless; persuasion without reason is dangerous. Plato worried about this; so will we.

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