Undergraduate Course: Survey of Ancient Philosophy (LLLI07009)
|School||Centre for Open Learning
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This 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.
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)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
| 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.
Shields, C., ed., 2003. The Blackwell Guide to Ancient Philosophy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Perseus digital library (online ancient texts)
Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Password access)
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Class handouts Handouts will be provided.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Mr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
|Course secretary||Mr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832