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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Classical Literature in Translation

Undergraduate Course: Early Greek Philosophy in Translation (CLTR10008)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course offers a survey of early Greek philosophy in translation.
Course description A survey of early Greek philosophy, starting from the Homeric and Hesiodic background, down to the early Atomists, including an introduction to early Greek cosmological speculation and the early history of the problem of knowledge. We will also consider the relation between philosophical content and literary form. All readings will be in translation. The syllabus will be approximately as follows (the course booklet is authoritative):

Week 1: intro; The Homeric and Hesiodic world-view.
Week 2: The Ionians: Thales, Anaximander.
Week 3: Anaximenes; Xenophanes.
Week 4: Pythagoras and early Pythagoreanism; Heraclitus 1.
Week 5: Heraclitus 2; Parmenides 1.
Week 6: Parmenides 2; Anaxagoras 1.
Week 7: Anaxagoras 2; Zeno.
Week 8: Empedocles 1; Empedocles 2.
Week 9: Philolaus and fifth-century Pythagoreanism; Melissus.
Week 10: The Atomists: Leucippus and Democritus 1 and 2.
Week 11: Diogenes of Apollonia (342-52); recap: Aristotle on the Presocratics
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Early Greek Philosophy (GREE10014)
Other requirements Students must have gained admission to a Classics or Philosophy Honours degree programme.
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter (at least 2 of which should be in Classical Literature) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. an awareness of perennial philosophical questions, such as the problem of origins, of existence and of the possibility of knowledge;
  2. a sensitivity with respect to the historical contextualization and interpretation of philosophical ideas and doctrines;
  3. an appreciation of historical source-criticism as applied to ancient Greek philosophical authors and an awareness of difficulties of reconstructing fragmentary texts;
  4. an ability to read, analyse and reflect critically upon relevant scholarship and to develop and sustain scholarly arguments in oral and written form, by formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence;
  5. independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers.
Reading List
G.S. Kirk, J. Raven, and M. Schofield (1983) The Presocratic Philosophers (2nd ed.), Cambridge.

McKirahan, R.D. (1994/2010) Philosophy before Socrates, 2nd ed. Indianapolis.

Graham, D.W. (2010) The Texts of early Greek Philosophy, 2 vols., Cambridge

Barnes, J. (1982) The Presocratic Philosophers, London, (1st ed. in 2 vols., 1979)

Curd, P. and Graham, D. eds., (2008) The Oxford Companion to Presocratic Philosophy, Oxford.

Furley, D.J. (1987) The Greek Cosmologists, Cambridge

Graham, D. (2006) Explaining the Cosmos. Princeton

Guthrie, W.K.C., A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. I (1962) and II (1965), Cambridge

Lloyd, G.E.R. (1986) The Revolutions of Wisdom. Studies in the claims and practices of ancient Greek Science, Berkeley

Long, A.A. ed. (1999) The Cambridge Companion to Early Greek Philosophy, Cambridge

Mourelatos, A.P.D., ed. (1993) The Pre-Socratics, A Collection of Critical Essays, 2nd ed., Princeton

Taylor, C.C.W., ed. (1997) Routledge History of Philosophy, vol. I. From the Beginning to Plato, London
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements In order for a student from outwith Classics to be enrolled on this course, contact must be made with a Course Secretary on 50 3580 in order for approval to be obtained.
KeywordsEarly Greek Philosophy / English Translation
Course organiserDr Simon Trepanier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3589
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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