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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Greek

Undergraduate Course: Early Greek Philosophy (GREE10014)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 through readings in Greek and 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. Readings will be in Greek with additional material in translation. The syllabus will be approximately as follows (the course booklet will be 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; recap: Aristotle on the Presocratics

Instruction in Greek will be given in the form of separate language tutorials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Greek 2A (GREE08007) OR Greek 2a Ex-Beginners (GREE08009)) AND Greek 2B (GREE08008)
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking Early Greek Philosophy in Translation (CLTR10008)
Other requirements Greek 2A (or Greek 2a Ex-Beginners) and Greek 2B must be passed with an average of 50% or above in the two courses combined.
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 Ancient Greek) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses but Elementary or Intermediate Greek courses will not count. Students beyond Intermediate level but with less Greek than the prerequisite should consider taking either Greek 2A/2B.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  20
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 172 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 30 %, Coursework 70 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework:
2 x online language exercises (2 x 15%)
3,000 word Essay (40%)

Exam (30%)
Feedback Students will receive written feedback on their coursework, and will have the opportunity to discuss that feedback further with the Course Organiser during their published office hours or by appointment.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate a command of ancient Greek (prose and verse);
  2. demonstrate an awareness of perennial philosophical questions, such as the problem of origins, of existence and of the possibility of knowledge;
  3. demonstrate a sensitivity with respect to the historical contextualization and interpretation of philosophical ideas and doctrines and an appreciation of historical source-criticism as applied to ancient Greek philosophical authors, including an awareness of difficulties of reconstructing fragmentary texts;
  4. demonstrate 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. demonstrate 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.
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 hours per week plus tutorials by arrangement.
KeywordsEarly Greek Philosophy / Ancient Greek
Course organiserDr Simon Trepanier
Tel: (0131 6)50 3589
Course secretaryMiss Rachel Ord
Tel: (0131 6)50 3580
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