This module provides an advanced introduction to the philosophy of Ancient Greece and Rome. We will look in detail at central works by Plato and Aristotle, introducing key themes in their ethics, epistemology and metaphysics. We will begin by a short introduction to Greek philosophy before Socrates, and end by looking briefly at the different Hellenistic schools that flourished after Aristotle.
The course will be centred around four key texts: Plato’s Meno, Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Physics and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. All of these texts are extremely rich and it will be impossible to cover all the topics they raise. We will focus on a selection of key passages and topics, exploring the passages carefully enough to assess the various arguments presented and see what different interpretations of the texts are possible. In engaging closely with the texts, students will also become familiar with the philosophical style and methodological orientations of Plato and Aristotle.
The aims of the module are:
* to introduce students to selected texts in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy;
* to promote an historical sense in relation to the texts;
* to develop powers of exposition and analysis of unfamiliar patterns of thought;
* to give students an idea of the place of Greek thought in the development of Western philosophy.
By the end of the module, students should be able in their essays and examination answers to:
* expound in their own words selected passages from ancient philosophic texts;
* expound and criticize commentaries on the works addressed on the module;
* articulate and assess some of the differences between Greek and contemporary forms of philosophical thinking.
- Module Supervisor: Wayne Martin