Platonic Wisdom and the Origin of Political Philosophy (Licenza)

Caitlin Smith Gilson


Through a close reading of Plato’s Republic and Laws we seek to lay the groundwork for subsequent analyses of Aristotle, St. Thomas, Social Contract thinkers, and postmodern interpretations of the human person. Most acutely, we address how politics involves a deeper accounting of the meaning of a practical science and whether the polis secures its identity by affirming or denying divine meaning within the individual and within society. Discussion will center on foundational political principles, especially the ideas of goodness, freedom, obligation, virtue, and law. Political thinking must resolve itself into a fundamental relationship between the notion of a personal moral good, and its connection and application to society, law, and religion. Finally, is there a difference between wisdom and thought and if so, what role must each have in the polis?