Reviews of Existing Scholarship
I have attempted to include here all of the items of scholarship that
I have found primarily concerned with the teaching of ancient philosophy.
For the majority of these I offer individual reviews (many of which also
appear at the PRS-LTSN
website). In a few cases, where I decided that a full review was not necessary,
I simply offer a single line summary. I have also included details for
a handful of items that I have not been able to consult directly. It should
also be noted that there is much in the general scholarship on teaching
philosophy that is relevant to the teaching of ancient philosophy. Reviews
of some of this material can be found at the PRS-LTSN
- BRUMBAUGH, R. S., & J. P. BURNHAM, 'Coins
and Classical Philosophy', Teaching Philosophy 12/3 (1989),
243-55. The authors suggest that an exhibition of ancient coins may
be used as a means to bring ancient philosophy to life.
- DOMBROWSKI, D. A., 'Raphael's
School of Athens in a Philosophy Classroom', Teaching
Philosophy 4/1 (1981), 33-38. Raphael's painting forms an excellent
visual guide to ancient philosophy, with figures grouped into four distinct
- BOWERY, A. M., 'Drawing Shadows on the Wall: Teaching Plato's Allegory
of the Cave', Teaching Philosophy 24/2 (2001), not consulted;
reviewed at the PRS-LTSN
- BRUMBAUGH, R. S., 'Teaching Plato's Republic VIII and IX',
Teaching Philosophy 3/3 (1980), 331-37. The author offers two
brief notes (repr. from The Classical Journal 46 ) concerned
with the use of mathematical imagery in the Republic.
- BRUMBAUGH, R. S., 'The Mathematical Imagery of Plato, Republic X',
Teaching Philosophy 7/3 (1984), unable to consult.
- CONWAY, J. P., 'Socrates and the Minotaur:
Following the Thread of Myth in Plato's Dialogues', Teaching
Philosophy 16/3 (1993), 193-204. The author suggests a mythic parallel
between the Crito and the story of Theseus. This, he claims,
emphasises to students the work's continuing relevance.
- DONOHUE, B., 'The Dramatic Significance
of Cephalus in Plato's Republic', Teaching Philosophy
20/3 (1997), 239-49. The author offers a reading of the opening pages
of the Republic designed to help his students understand better
the relationship between Socrates and Plato.
- FAIRCHILD, D., 'Plato IV', Teaching Philosophy 2/1 (1976), unable
- GLOUBERMAN, M., 'Euthyphro:
A Guide for Analytic Instruction', Teaching Philosophy
15/1 (1992), 33-49. This Platonic dialogue forms an excellent introduction
to modern modes of philosophical reasoning, and perhaps a better one
than can be found in other historical texts usually taught to new students.
- GOLD, J., 'Bringing Students Out of the Cave', Teaching Philosophy
11/1 (1988), unable to consult.
- NAILS, D., 'A Little Platonic Heresy
for the Eighties', Teaching Philosophy 8/1 (1985), 33-40.
Translations of key terms in Plato's Republic can significantly
affect the way in which students approach the text. Current practices
implicitly endorse the 'totalitarian' reading of Plato and should be
- PASSELL, D., 'Plato's "Introduction to Philosophy"', Teaching
Philosophy 23/4 (2000), 315-28. Although many teachers use Plato's
allegory of the cave as an introduction to philosophy, far better is
Plato's own introductory method, namely the 'what is T' question.
- ROBINSON, J., 'Teaching the Allegory
of the Cave', Teaching Philosophy 15/4 (1992), 329-35.
Plato's cave allegory should not be taught in isolation but rather alongside
the divided line and the wider context of the Republic.
- SCHONSHECK, J., 'Drawing the Cave
and Teaching the Divided Line', Teaching Philosophy 13/4
(1990), 373-77. A drawing of Plato's cave may be helpful when teaching
the Republic. However it should include both the interior and
exterior of the cave (previous diagrams have included only the interior).
- WEINGARTNER, R. H., 'Is Reading Plato Educational? Thoughts on Education,
Prompted by a Reading of Plato's Meno', Teaching Philosophy
17/4 (1994), 335-44. The author suggests that the slave boy episode
in the Meno offers a helpful general pedagogical method.
- CARLSON, G. R., 'Aristotle and Alcoholism:
Understanding the Nicomachean Ethics', Teaching Philosophy
9/2 (1986), 97-102. The example of alcoholism forms an excellent model
for understanding Aristotle's comments on the vice of self-indulgence.
- CONN, C., 'Teaching Aristotle with Modeling
Clay', Teaching Philosophy 23/3 (2000), 269-76. Using clay
in the classroom can help students to understand Aristotle's hylomorphism
and his theory of four causes as they are outlined in the Physics.
- JOST, L. J., 'Aristotle's Ethics: Have
We Been Teaching the Wrong One?', Teaching Philosophy 6/4
(1983), 331-40. The author reports Anthony Kenny's arguments for taking
seriously the Eudemian Ethics. However, he still thinks that
students should begin with the Nicomachean Ethics.
- POWERS, J., 'Diagramming Aristotle's
Nicomachean Ethics', Teaching Philosophy 23/4
(2000), 343-52. Some students learn better via visual material than
they do via written or spoken information. Consequently schematic diagrams
are often useful when dealing with complex texts.
Hellenistic & Late Ancient Philosophy
Next Section: Reviews of Textbooks