Plato’s Symposium


This short course on Plato’s Symposium is a must for anyone who has an interest in Plato or Philosophy.  Dr. Sadler’s handouts and videos provide concise and accessible background information regarding the key cultural, political and philosophical contexts within which the work was written; the characters, their relationships, the central themes, overall structure of the text.  These, combined with his obvious love and knowledge of Plato’s writings and the genial and relaxed mood of the online sessions, enable the student to explore this amazing piece of writing with confidence long after the course is completed.  – Duncan Pugh

Plato’s Symposium is one of the greatest works of Western literature.  Short, but very dense in philosophical ideas, it is among Plato’s finest dialogues, offering insights into the nature of one of the key experiences of the human condition – Love.

I have been teaching this text to undergraduates for about a decade and a half.  In this 4-week course, we work through the entirety of this Platonic dialogue closely, discuss connections with other Platonic texts, and look at the afterlife of the text and ideas in western culture down to the present day.

As the instructor, I meet with students weekly through video-conferencing (which is recorded for students who can’t make the sessions).  Students also engage with each other and myself through discussion forums.  I also provide them with 10-25 minute lecture videos, lesson pages, handouts, worksheets, quizzes, and yet other resources, all housed in one well-organized course site.

The next sections for this course will be offered will run through the following dates:

  • June 19 – July 16, 2016
  • April 23 – May 15, 2017

You can find out more about the course, pre-enroll for a class section, or sign up to receive updates about this and other courses, by clicking here.

Tuition is offered at two tier levels:

  • Tier 1 – the basic course – is $100 for the entire 4 weeks of the course
  • Tier 2 – basic course+individual assignments and feedback – is $200 for the 4 week course
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