"The safest general characterization of the European
philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato.”
– A. N. Whitehead
turns out: the more you blow up your beliefs as you go, the more they stay the same.
‘Reason and Persuasion’? The title is generic, and indicates that the course
will be - if this is what you are looking for - a general, introduction to
philosophy, as it tends to be taught at the university level. But the title
also points to a specific problem: reason without persuasion is useless;
persuasion without reason is dangerous. Plato worried about it. So will we.
course will be of interest to a wide variety of students. There are a variety
of reasons why you might want to know at least a little about what Plato
thought and wrote. I will do my best to teach in a way that accommodates as
wide a range of likely interests in the subject as i can manage.