The Open University since 2006
Alternatively you can skip the navigation by pressing 'Enter'.
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 1Wednesday, 27th July 2016 02:45 - BBC TwoEpisode 1 begins as hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria arrive in the Turkish port of Izmir. Read more: Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 1
Discovery: The Truth About Success And Failure In Medicine: Going Lean: Heath and the Toyota WayAvailable until Tuesday, 25th July 2017 00:00What is lean healthcare? Kevin Fong explores Read more: Discovery: The Truth About Success And Failure In Medicine: Going Lean: Heath and the Toyota Way
Thinking Allowed July 2016: Food bank Britain, Food poverty in EuropeAvailable for over a year
Full Steam Ahead: Episode oneAvailable until Monday, 22nd August 2016 17:30
Exodus: Our Journey To Europe: EPISODE 3Available until Friday, 19th August 2016 01:15
More or LessTim Harford presents BBC Radio 4's surprising and refreshing guide to statistics in the news. Read more: More or Less
Full Steam AheadIt’s Full Steam Ahead for historians Ruth Goodman, Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn as they bring... Read more: Full Steam Ahead
Employment relations and employee engagementThis free course, Employment relations and employee engagement, looks at raising levels of... Try: Employment relations and employee engagement now
English: skills for learningEnglish: skills for learning, is a free course for anybody who is thinking of studying for a... Try: English: skills for learning now
How can we settle questions of morality or ethics? This free course, Plato on tradition and belief, explores Plato's dialogue, the Laches, to discover why Plato thought that we should look to reason, rather than tradition, to decide how we should live and what it means to be courageous.
After studying this course, you should be able to:
- recognise some of the skills involved in studying philosophy, including reading a philosophical text, recognising a philosophical question, and analysing and evaluating a deductive argument
- understand some of Plato’s philosophical views – in particular, his views concerning the value of traditional beliefs.
- Current section: Introduction
- Learning outcomes
- What is a traditional belief?
- Plato and Socrates in Athens
- Plato’s Socrates
- Introducing the Laches
- Laches and Greek tradition
- Is courage endurance? Socrates’ argument
- Is courage endurance? Introducing deductive arguments
- Is courage endurance? The case of the foolish fire-fighter
- Nicias defines courage
- Is courage the whole of virtue?
- The puzzle of the Laches
- Knowledge, opinion and the statues of Daedalus
- Why Socrates does not know the answers (and why Plato will not tell us what they are)
- Why does Plato reject tradition?
- The Socratic method, teaching and learning
- Keep on learning
- Further reading
Study this free course
Enrol to access the full course, get recognition for the skills you learn, track your progress and on completion gain a statement of participation to demonstrate your learning to others. Make your learning visible!
Plato on tradition and belief
In this course, we shall read some extracts from the Laches, a dialogue written by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato (c. 427–347 bce) (see Figure 1). One of our aims in reading these extracts is to discover how Plato uses philosophical argument to question traditional beliefs.
This OpenLearn course is an adapted extract from the Open University course.
Copyright & revisions
Originally published: Friday, 15th January 2016
Last updated on: Friday, 15th January 2016
- Creative-Commons: The Open University is proud to release this free course under a Creative Commons licence. However, any third-party materials featured within it are used with permission and are not ours to give away. These materials are not subject to the Creative Commons licence. See terms and conditions. Full details can be found in the Acknowledgements and our FAQs section.
- This site has Copy Reuse Tracking enabled - see our FAQs for more information.
If you enjoyed this, why not follow a feed to find out when we have new things like it? Choose an RSS feed from the list below. (Don't know what to do with RSS feeds?)
Remember, you can also make your own, personal feed by combining tags from around OpenLearn.
- Latest OpenLearn pages
- Latest pages from OpenLearn - History & The Arts
- Latest pages from OpenLearn - Classical Studies
- Latest pages tagged - AA100_2
- Latest pages tagged - Plato
- Latest pages tagged - tradition
- Latest pages tagged - belief
- Latest pages tagged - Laches
- Latest pages tagged - morality
- Latest pages tagged - ethics
- Latest comments on this page
All our alternative formats are free for you to download, for more information about the different formats we offer please see our FAQs. The most frequently used are Word (for accessibility), PDF (for print) and ePub and Kindle to download to eReaders*.
- Word (1.6 MB)
- PDF (2.6 MB)
- ePub 3.0 (7.5 MB)
- ePub 2.0 (1.3 MB)
- Kindle (776 KB)
- RSS (344 KB)
- HTML (7.6 MB)
- SCORM (7.6 MB)
- OUXML Package (40 KB)
- OUXML File (131 KB)
- IMS Common cartridge
- Moodle backup (7.8 MB)
*Please note you will need an ePub and Mobi reader for these formats.