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Online Learning

Course Number: PHL 723
Course Title: Plato's Republic
Term: Summer 2014


Dr. Richard Geraghty


This course will be devoted to a close reading of Plato's Republic as an aid to the understanding of the tradition of faith and reason.


  • Students will demonstrate the ability to analyze the argument.
  • Students will demonstrate the ability to put their analysis on paper
  • Students will demonstrate their grasp of the whole argument in a final paper


Week 1, Introduction to the Course

Lectures 1

  • See Accompanying Notes
  • Note especially the instructions on how to write your papers.


  • Pages 1-26 of The Right Way to Live


  • Write a 1000 word analysis of the reading, which is due on Monday of week 2.  PAPER #1. As in all future papers devote the last 200 words to your personal reactions

Week 2: Socrates the Man

Lectures 2

  • See Accompanying Notes


  • The Apology


  • Write 1000 word paper on the question posed in the Accompanying Notes. Due on Monday of week 3. PAPER #2.

Week 3, The Preliminary to the Argument of The Republic

Lecture 3. See Accompanying Notes


  • Book One of The Republic and pages 27-44 of The Right Way To Live.


  • Write an 1000 word paper analyzing the argument starting at 338a and ending at 343a. Due Monday of week 4. PAPER #3.

Week 4, Book Two: The Setting of the Main Argument

Lecture 4

  • A few notes regarding Book Two. (See Accompanying Notes.)


  • Read chapters five to seven (pages 45-81) of The Right Way to Live then read Book Two of The Republic.


  • Write a 1000 hundred word summary of the argument from 357a to 372a. Due on Monday of week 6. PAPER #4.

Week 5, Book Three  

Lecture five: see Accompanying Notes.


  • Read and digest material. No Paper.

Week 6, Book Four

  • Lectures 6
  • A few notes on book four. (See Accompanying Notes)


  • Read Chapter 8 of Right Way To Live and Book Four of The Republic
  • Write a 1000 word analysis of the argument from 427c-444e due Monday of week 8. PAPER #5

Week 7, Book Five: The Sexual Ethics of a Radical

Lecture 8

  • A few notes on sexual ethics. (See Accompanying Notes)


  • Read Book Five


  • Write a 1000 hundred word paper due Monday of ninth week. PAPER #6

Week 8, Book Six: Is a Philosopher King Possible?

Lecture 9

  • A few notes on the realism of Socrates. (See Accompanying Notes)


  • Read Book Six

Assignment: Digest the material..

Week 9, Book Seven—The Parable of the Cave and Higher Education

Lecture 10

  • A few notes on Socrates view of education. (See Accompanying Notes.)


  • Read Book Seven.


  • Write a 1000 word paper on the relationship of higher education to the Parable of the Cave, due on Monday of week 11. PAPER #7.

Week 10, Book Eight

  • Lecture 11
  • A few notes on corruption. (See Accompanying Notes)


  • Read Book Eight.


  • Write 1000 word paper analyzing how democracies become tyrannies (559d-569c) Due on Monday of week 12.  PAPER #8

Week 11, Book 9--The Winner of the Argument

  • Lecture 13
  • A few notes on the worth of experience. (See Accompanying Notes


  • Read Book Nine


  • Write a 1000 word paper showing how the proper experience of life shows Socrates to be the winner of the argument and the sophists to be the losers. PAPER #9. Due on Monday of week 13.

Week 12, Book 10-- The Selection of the Poets, the Immortality of the Soul, and the Afterlife


  • A few notes on the afterlife as part of Socrates' argument.
  • Read Book Ten.


  • Digest the material.

Week 13

  • Start writing your final paper of 2000 words answering the question: Does the argument of the pagan Socrates, although not perfect (his sexual morality is terrible from the Catholic notion of natural law), enable you to defend the natural law tradition in today's world.

Week 14

  • Keep writing paper

Week 15

  • Hand in final paper on Friday of this week.


  • Nine 1000 word papers worth 9 points each
  • Final paper of 2000 words worth 19 points


  1. The Apology as found in Dialogues of Plato, Vol. 1, translated with comment by R.E. Allen, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1984. ISBN 978-0-300-13637-1. $10.55. Available at Amazon. OTHER EDITIONS ARE ACCEPTABLE..
  2. The Republic as found in translation of R. E. Allen, Yale University Press, 2006. ISBN 978-0-300-04488-1. $17.63 Available at Amazon. USE ONLY THIS EDITION.
  3. The Right Way to Live: Plato's Republic for Catholic Students  by .Dr. Richard Geraghty, 1994. ISBN1891280066. $8.00. Available at seminary book store.


The three books listed above will be more than sufficient.


(Basis of evaluation with explanation regarding the nature of the assignment and the percentage of the grade assigned to each item below). Students who have difficulty with research and composition are encouraged to pursue assistance with the Online Writing Lab (available at


A 94-100; A- 90-93; B+ 87-89; B 84-86; B- 80-83; C+ 77-79; C 74-76; C- 70-73 60-69; F 59 and below

Grading Rubric for the Major Papers and Discussion Board (DB) Postings

0 pts. – Paper
0 pts. – DB Posting;

3 pts. – Paper
2 pts. – DB Posting;

6 pts. – Paper
4 pts. – DB Posting;

9 pts. – Paper
6 pts. – DB Posting;

12 pts. – Paper
8 pts. – DB Posting;

15 pts. – Paper
10 pts. – DB Posting;



Absence of Understanding

Analysis shows no awareness of the discipline or its methodologies as they relate to the topic.

Lack of Understanding

Analysis seems to misunderstand some basic concepts of the discipline or lacks ability to articulate them.

Inadequate understanding

Analysis is sometimes unclear in understanding or articulating concepts of the discipline.

Adequate understanding

Analysis demonstrates an understanding of basic concepts of the discipline but could express them with greater clarity.

Solid Understanding

Analysis demonstrates a clear understanding and articulation of concepts with some sense of their wider implications.

Insightful understanding

Analysis clearly demonstrates an understanding and articulation of concepts of the discipline as they relate to the topic; highlights connections to other concepts; integrates concepts into wider contexts.



Missing Research

Paper shows no evidence of research: citation of sources missing.

Inadequate research and/or documentation

Over-reliance on few sources; spotty documentation of facts in text; pattern of citation errors.

Weak research and/or documentation

Inadequate number or quality of sources; many facts not referenced; several errors in citation format.

Adequate research and documentation but needs improvement

Good choice of sources but could be improved with some additions or better selection; did not always cite sources; too many citation errors.

Solid research and documentation

A number of relevant scholarly sources revealing solid research; sources appropriately referenced in paper; only a few minor citation errors.

Excellent critical research and documentation

Critically selected and relevant scholarly sources demonstrating extensive, in-depth research; sources skillfully incorporated into paper at all necessary points; all citations follow standard bibliographic format.



Incomplete writing

Analysis is only partially written or completely misses the topic.

Writing difficult to understand, serious improvement needed

Analysis fails to address the topic; confusing organization or development; little elaboration of position; insufficient control of sentence structure and vocabulary; unacceptable number of errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.

Episodic writing, a mix of strengths and weaknesses.

Analysis noticeably neglects or misinterprets the topic; simplistic or repetitive treatment, only partially-internalized; weak organization and development, some meandering; simple sentences, below-level diction; distracting errors in grammar, mechanics, and usage.

Acceptable writing, but could use some sharpening of skill

Analysis is an uneven response to parts of the topic; somewhat conventional treatment; satisfactory organization, but more development needed; adequate syntax and diction, but could use more vigor; overall control of grammar, mechanics, and usage, but some errors.

Solid writing, with something interesting to say.

Analysis is an adequate response to the topic; some depth and complexity in treatment; persuasive organization and development, with suitable reasons and examples; level-appropriate syntax and diction; mastery of grammar, mechanics, and usage, with hardly any error.

Command-level writing, making a clear impression

Analysis is a thorough response to the topic; thoughtful and insightful examination of issues; compelling organization and development; superior syntax and diction; error-free grammar, mechanics, and usage.


COMMUNITY INTERACTION (50-word response)

Inadequate response

Response merely provides laudatory encouragement for original post, e.g., “Excellent post! You really have thought of something there.”

Poor response

Response misses the point of the original posting.

Weak response

Response summarizes original posting to which it responds.

Acceptable response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds.

Individually-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the posting to which it responds and fosters its development.

Community-conscious contributory response

Response makes a contribution to the learning community and fosters its development.



Holy Apostles College & Seminary is committed to the goal of achieving equal educational opportunities and full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities who qualify for admission to the College. Students enrolled in online courses who have documented disabilities requiring special accommodations should contact Bob Mish, the Director of Online Student Affairs, at or 860-632-3015. In all cases, reasonable accommodations will be made to ensure that all students with disabilities have access to course materials in a mode in which they can receive them. Students who have technological limitations (e.g., slow Internet connection speeds in convents) are asked to notify their instructors the first week of class for alternative means of delivery.


Students at Holy Apostles College & Seminary are expected to practice academic honesty.

Avoiding Plagiarism

In its broadest sense, plagiarism is using someone else's work or ideas, presented or claimed as your own.  At this stage in your academic career, you should be fully conscious of what it means to plagiarize. This is an inherently unethical activity because it entails the uncredited use of someone else's expression of ideas for another's personal advancement; that is, it entails the use of a person merely as a means to another person’s ends.

Students, where applicable:

Since the course is directed to the reading of The Republic and writing up your responses, it will sufficient to note the place in the text. For example (467a-468b)

Consequences of Academic Dishonesty:

Because of the nature of this class, academic dishonesty is taken very seriously.  Students participating in academic dishonesty may be removed from the course and from the program.


Even though you are not required to be logged in at any precise time or day, you are expected to login several times during each week. Because this class is being taught entirely in a technology-mediated forum, it is important to actively participate each week in the course. In a traditional classroom setting for a 3-credit course, students would be required, per the federal standards, to be in class three 50-minute sessions (or 2.5 hours a week) and prepare for class discussions six 50-minute sessions (or 5 hours) a week. Expect to devote at least nine 50-minute sessions (or 7.5 quality hours) a week to this course. A failure on the student’s part to actively participate in the life of the course may result in a reduction of the final grade.


An Incomplete is a temporary grade assigned at the discretion of the faculty member. It is typically allowed in situations in which the student has satisfactorily completed major components of the course and has the ability to finish the remaining work without re-enrolling, but has encountered extenuating circumstances, such as illness, that prevent his or her doing so prior to the last day of class.

To request an incomplete, distance-learning students must first download a copy of the Incomplete Request Form. This document is located within the Shared folder of the Files tab in Populi. Secondly, students must fill in any necessary information directly within the PDF document. Lastly, students must send their form to their professor via email for approval. “Approval” should be understood as the professor responding to the student’s email in favor of granting the “Incomplete” status of the student.

Students receiving an Incomplete must submit the missing course work by the end of the sixth week following the semester in which they were enrolled. An incomplete grade (I) automatically turns into the grade of “F” if the course work is not completed.

Students who have completed little or no work are ineligible for an incomplete. Students who feel they are in danger of failing the course due to an inability to complete course assignments should withdraw from the course.

A “W” (Withdrawal) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the first week of a semester to the end of the third week. A “WF” (Withdrawal/Fail) will appear on the student’s permanent record for any course dropped after the end of the third week of a semester and on or before the Friday before the last week of the semester.


In the back cover of my book The Right Way to Live  is my picture and background in 1994. Since 1999 I have been teaching philosophy to the Pre-theologians here at the Eternal Word Television Network , Birmingham, Alabama.

(860) 632-3010