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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Lifelong Learning (PPL)

Undergraduate Course: Survey of Ancient Philosophy (LLLI07009)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a for-credit course offered by the Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL); only students registered with OLL should be enrolled. Greek and Roman philosophy form the basis of much of our modern thought. Learn about the development of the subject in the ancient world, covering not just major figures such as Plato and Aristotle, but other important schools such as Stoicism and Neo-Platonism.
Course description Content of course
1. Pre-Socratic philosophy. This session will examine the beginnings of philosophical thought and the scientific study of nature in Ancient Greece.
2. The Sophists and Socrates. This session will examine the differences and connections between the Sophists and Socrates.
3. Plato. Concentrating on the middle dialogues, this session will focus particularly on the role of philosophy in understanding the universe.
4. Aristotle. This session will examine Aristotle┐s understanding of nature, with a particular focus on the Physics.
5. Plato and Aristotle. The two philosophers┐ approaches to ethics and human flourishing will be examined.
6. Epicureanism. This school emphasized the centrality of pleasure in ethics and, in particular, the avoidance of the fear of death. This session will examine these views in the light of ancient and modern criticisms.
7. Stoicism. Apart from Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics have probably been the most influential ancient school of philosophy. This session will examine their ethics and psychology, with a particular emphasis on Roman Stoics.
8. Academics and Pyrrhonists. This session will concentrate on ancient schools of scepticism which emphasized the suspension of judgment due to the unattainability of knowledge.
9. Neo-Platonism. Much of the influence of Plato┐s philosophy has been through its development by Neo-Platonist schools of philosophy. This session will concentrate on this influential blend of religion and philosophy.
10. Final discussion. An opportunity to consider the course as a whole and to return to specific issues in the light of that overview.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2014/15, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  10
Course Start Lifelong Learning - Session 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Seminar/Tutorial Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 78 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Open Studies 10 credit courses have one assessment. Normally, the assessment is a 2000 word essay, worth 100% of the total mark, submitted by week 12. To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 40%. There are a small number of exceptions to this model which are identified in the Studying for Credit Guide.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
┐ Demonstrate a broad knowledge of some key ideas in ancient philosophy;
┐ Demonstrate an awareness of the diversity of ancient philosophical thought and the continuities and discontinuities between different periods;
┐ Use some of the basic skills, techniques and practices associated generally with reading philosophical texts and specifically with reading ancient philosophical texts;
┐ Present and evaluate some arguments and ideas which are key to ancient philosophy.
Reading List
Shields, C., ed., 2003. The Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Web sources
Perseus digital library (online ancient texts)
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Password access)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Class handouts Handouts will be provided.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
Course secretaryMrs Sabine Murdoch
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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