PH140-15 Ancient Philosophy
By the end of the module, students should be able to (i) understand the main philosophical issues and arguments presented in a number of important texts of ancient philosophy (ii) critically engage with the main ideas and arguments of these texts, and articulate their own views about the relative strengths or weaknesses of these arguments.
The main module aim is to introduce students to the ideas, arguments, and themes of a number of important works of ancient philosophy. The method is to do this by interactive lectures, seminars and guided close reading and analysis of the primary texts and of issues raised by these texts.
This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.
Week 1. Lecture 1. Introduction
Week 1. Lecture 2. Introduction to Ancient Greek Worldviews
Week 2. Lecture 3. Milesian Materialism 1
Week 2. Lecture 4. Milesian Materialism 2
Week 3. Lecture 5. Heraclitus 1
Week 3. Lecture 6. Heraclitus 2
Week 4. Lecture 7. Euthyphro: Introducing the Socratic Method
Week 4. Lecture 8. Euthyphro: Exploring the Socratic Method
Week 5. Lecture 9. Plato, The Meno 1
Week 5. Lecture 10. Plato, The Meno 2
Week 6. No lectures
Week 7. Lecture 11. Plato on Form 1
Week 7. Lecture 12. Plato on Form 2
Week 8. Lecture 13. Plato on Soul in the Phaedo 1
Week 8. Lecture 14. Plato on Soul in the Phaedo 2
Week 9. Lecture 16. Aristotle, Physics 1
Week 9. Lecture 17. Aristotle, Physics 2
Week 10. Lecture 18. Aristotle, The Function Argument 1
Week 10. Lecture 18. Aristotle, The Function Argument 2
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
- (i) understand the main philosophical issues and arguments presented in a number of important texts of ancient philosophy
- (ii) critically engage with the main ideas and arguments of these texts, and articulate their own views about the relative strengths or weaknesses of these arguments.
- (iii) Develop the skills of close reading of ancient philosophical texts, including an ability to understand and explain technical vocabulary from ancient philosophical texts and an awareness of debates about the interpretation of certain key terms in ancient texts.
Indicative reading list
Barnes, J. (ed.). 2002. Early Greek Philosophy. London, Penguin.
Cooper, J. (trans.) 2002. Plato, Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo.
Waterfield, R. (trans.) 2009. Meno and Other Dialogues. Oxford, O.U.P.
Ackrill, J. (ed.) 1987. A New Aristotle Reader. Oxford, O.U.P. A very reliable collection of selected
works, containing all of the Aristotle material relevant to this course.
Waterfield, R. 2008. Aristotle, Physics. Oxford, O.U.P. Contains helpful introductory material.
Barnes, J. 1982. The Presocratic Philosophers. London, Routledge.
Long, A. A. 1999. The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy. Cambridge, C.U.P.
Irwin, T. 1988. Aristotle’s First Principles. Oxford, O.U.P.
Kraut, R. (ed.) 1992. The Cambridge Companion to Plato. Cambridge, C.U.P.
Barnes, J. (ed.) 1995. The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. Cambridge, C.U.P.
Fine, G. (ed.) 1999. Plato 1: Metaphysics and Epistemology. Oxford, O.U.P.
Fine. G. (ed.) 1999. Plato 2: Ethics, Politics, Religion and the Soul. Oxford, O.U.P.
Fine. G. 2003. Plato on Knowledge and Forms. Oxford, O.U.P.
Shields, C. 2012. Ancient Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction. 2nd ed. London, Routledge.
Shields, C. 2014. Aristotle. London, Routledge.
Subject specific skills
(i) The capacity to read classic works of Ancient philosophy, centrally those of Plato and Aristotle and to understand key ideas in those texts.
(ii) The capacity to explain key arguments found in classic philosophical texts, such as those in Plato and Aristotle.
(iii) To develop an appreciation of the strengths and weaknesses of these arguments, and to be able to communicate these strengths and weaknesses in written and oral work.
(iv) To work effectively with peers in group-oriented work on Ancient Philosophy, and to communicate and think about Ancient Philosophy in a seminar environment
(i) To acquire the capacity to read difficult material effectively and critically.
(ii) To develop the capacity to explain demanding ideas and arguments clearly, briefly and accurately.
(iii) To think creatively about problems by deploying the capacity for clear thinking and reasoning
(iv) To work collaboratively and sensitively with others in a seminar environment, and to develop the self-confidence to communicate effectively in a seminar environment.
|Lectures||9 sessions of 2 hours (69%)|
|Seminars||8 sessions of 1 hour (31%)|
Private study description
No private study requirements defined for this module.
No further costs have been identified for this module.
You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.
Students can register for this module without taking any assessment.
Assessment group D1
|1000 word essay||20%|
~Platforms - AEP
Feedback on assessment
Detailed written feedback will be provided on summative essay, including advice on how to
improve written work.
An exam report will also be provided, giving a general account of successful ways of answering a question and some common problems, but it will not comment on individual answers.
This module is Core for:
- Year 1 of UCXA-Q8V7 Undergraduate Classical Civilisation with Philosophy
- Year 1 of UPHA-V700 Undergraduate Philosophy
- Year 1 of UPHA-VQ52 Undergraduate Philosophy, Literature and Classics
This module is Core optional for:
UCXA-Q82P Undergraduate Classical Civilisation
- Year 1 of Q82P Classical Civilisation (Part-Time)
- Year 2 of Q82P Classical Civilisation (Part-Time)
- Year 1 of UIPA-V5L8 Undergraduate Philosophy and Global Sustainable Development
- Year 1 of UPHA-VQ72 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature
This module is Optional for:
- Year 1 of UPHA-VL78 BA in Philosophy with Psychology
- Year 1 of UCXA-Q820 Undergraduate Classical Civilisation
- Year 1 of UHIA-V1V5 Undergraduate History and Philosophy
- Year 1 of UPHA-VQ72 Undergraduate Philosophy and Literature
- Year 1 of UPHA-V7ML Undergraduate Philosophy, Politics and Economics
This module is Option list B for:
- Year 1 of UMAA-GV17 Undergraduate Mathematics and Philosophy