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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Postgraduate (History, Classics and Archaeology)

Postgraduate Course: Mind and World in Early Greek Philosophy (PGHC11145)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn introduction to the first speculations on the nature of thought and mind in Early Greek philosophy.
Course description An introduction to the first speculations on the nature of thought and mind in Early Greek philosophy. Topics and themes of interest will include: divine and mortal knowledge in Homer and other poets; the first theories of perception; the place of and/or soul mind within the body and without, within nature or outwith nature; the nature of thought and its objects


Week 1: Two sketches: 1) some modern problems and issues 2) approaching the Presocratics

Week 2: Psychological activity in Homer and the poets; the organs of thought; nous and noein besides psuche

Week 3: Heraclitus (KRS 181-212).

Week 4: Parmenides (KRS 239-62)

Week 5: Early Pythagoreans; Anaxagoras and Nous (KRS 352-84)

Week 6: Empedocles: Cosmic cycles and panpsychism

Week 7: Democritus: where is mind? (KRS 402-433)

Week 8: Later Pythagoreans: Philolaus

Week 9: Plato: select passages from Phaedo and Timaeus

Week 10: Peripatetic Critiques: Aristotle, De Anima I and Theophrastus, De Sensibus
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate in the essay a detailed and critical command of the body of knowledge concerning theories of mind in early Greek philosophy and the interpretative difficulties in using ancient source material
  2. Demonstrate in the essay an ability to analyse and reflect critically upon relevant a) scholarship concerning early Greek philosophy b) primary source materials for the Presocratics and the possibilities of various biases in our sources, and conceptual discussions about psychology in a historical context
  3. Demonstrate in seminar participation, an ability to understand and apply specialised research or professional skills, techniques and practices considered in the course including the difficulties relevant to fragmentary authors
  4. Demonstrate the ability to develop and sustain original scholarly arguments in oral and written form in seminar discussions by independently formulating appropriate questions and utilising relevant evidence considered in the course
  5. Demonstrate in seminar discussions originality and independence of mind and initiative; intellectual integrity and maturity; an ability to evaluate the work of others, including peers; and a considerable degree of autonomy
Reading List
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.

Frede, D. and B. Reis, ed. (2009) Body and Soul in Ancient Philosophy, New York/Berlin.

Furley D.J. and Allen, R.E., eds. Studies in Presocratic Philosophy, vol. I (1970) and II (1975), London

Furley, D.J. (1987) The Greek Cosmologists, Cambridge
___________ (1989) Cosmic Problems. Essays on Greek and Roman Philosophy of Nature, Cambridge

Gill, M.L. and Pellegrin, P. (2006) A Companion to Ancient Philosophy, Oxford/Blackwells.

Lloyd, G.E.R. (1966), Polarity and Analogy. Two types of Argumentation in early Greek Thought, Cambridge
_____________(1979) Magic, Reason and Experience, Cambridge
_____________(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

Osborne, C. (1987) Rethinking Early Greek Philosophy. Hippolytus of Rome and the Presocratics, London.

Taylor, C.C.W., ed. (1997) Routledge History of Philosophy, vol. I. From the Beginning to Plato, London

Vlastos, G. (1995) Studies in Greek Philosophy, vol. I: The Presocratics, Princeton
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Keywordsmind world early greek philosophy
Course organiserDr Simon Trepanier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3589
Course secretaryMr Gordon Littlejohn
Tel: (0131 6)50 3782
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