This seminar takes as its text Plato’s Republic
, by any account one of the most influential, widely studied, widely admired texts of Western Civilization, and one of the greatest pieces of writing of any age. The Republic
covers a huge range of philosophical issues. Its focus is on the correct conception of justice, both the sort of justice that we find at the level of the political state, and the justice that we attribute to individuals when we think of them as being morally just agents. Along the way, Plato offers not only a sketch of what he thinks an Ideal City would look like, but also a penetrating analysis of human psychology, a theory of knowledge which still attracts philosophers today, an educational program centering on Mathematics as a means of coming to see the truth, and an analysis of how societies can fall away from the ideal. The book culminates in a savage attack on Art and Literature, in which Plato deploys his insights about human psychology and the nature of truth in showing that the Ideal City can make no room for the vast majority of Art and Literature because of their power to corrupt the minds even of decent people. French language skills are not required.
The seminar will take place in Paris, and has at its heart a detailed close reading of the Republic
, under the guidance of Professor Benjamin Morison, with student presentations covering the entirety of the 350 page text, interspersed with the occasional guest lecture by distinguished professors from Paris or debate with local students. In addition, we will visit various local sites and museums which resonate with the Republic
, such as a visit to see the Louvre’s extraordinary collection of ancient Greek antiquities, and visits to politically charged monuments and sites (the monumental architecture of Paris, Paris under Nazi occupation). The aim of the seminar is to give the student a comprehensive and detailed knowledge of the Republic
, gaining skills at close reading and philosophical writing along the way.
For Princeton approval, participants must have at least a 3.0/ B average for the fall and spring semesters prior to the semester of study abroad.
Grading & Credits:
For information regarding credits, grading, and other academic policies, read the Academic Policies on the Study Abroad website
Classes begin Monday, June 24, 2019 and end Friday, July 26, 2019.
The Fondation des États-Unis is a private student residence and cultural center located at the Cité internationale universitaire de Paris (CiuP). Our 267 individual rooms include a small number of artists’ ateliers and music studios. The cultural program, which includes concerts, workshops, conferences, exhibits and films, is open to the general public. We also rent out our beautiful Grand Salon, gallery and meeting rooms for corporate events.
The FEU welcomes American and international students and researchers in its 267 individual rooms (17m2 on average), overlooking the Parc Montsouris or the interior garden. Each room is equipped with a bed, desk, chair, closet, and sink. Residents have access to free unlimited wireless internet throughout the building. For all other practical details, please see the Resident’s Guidebook.
Each floor is equipped with several communal bathrooms with sinks, showers, and separate toilets. The FEU offers several communal spaces including kitchens, a library (open 24/7), two small study rooms, a computer room, a recreational space and a music room, as well as a concert hall and a gallery space for cultural events. Each floor has communal kitchens which are equipped with a sink, a refrigerator (on certain floors only), a stove, ovens, and microwaves. The self-service laundry room in the basement is open 24/7. Get a feel for life at the FEU by watching this video, which was made by a FEU resident in 2017.
Regular financial aid is not available for this program. If you are interested in outside funding, please refer to the SAFE website
The program fee for this program is $3,000
and will include all excursions and tours, as well as 3 group dinners. All other meals, round trip flight, and personal expenses will be your own responsibility. You should budget around $3400
for those expenses. For those applying to the Dean's Fund, please see a general breakdown here:
- $200: Local transportation
- $1200: Meals
- $1200: Round trip airfare
- $800: Personal expenses
Passport and Visa
Students are responsible for ensuring that their passports are valid for their entire stay in France. For further information on renewing or obtaining a U.S. passport, please consult the U.S. State Department passport website
. If you hold an American passport, you will not need a visa for this program. If not, please see the Campus France website
for information on visa requirements.
In order to apply, please do the following:
- Click "apply now" here on the GPS brochure to begin an application.
- Complete the study abroad application items listed in GPS by the GPS deadline: March 1, 2019
NOTE: Finalists will be contacted for an interview with Professor Morison and the course’s Assistant Instructor. These will take place the week of March 4, 2019, with decisions being made soon after.