PHI 328: History of Ancient Philosophy

Topics, Readings, and Writing Assignments

1. Introduction
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Introduction (1-8)

• The major figures and lines of thought in the period of study
• Methodology in the History of Philosophy


2. The Presocratic Period
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Chapter 1 (9-34)

• The social and political conditions in the Mediterranean Basin
• Enlightenment thinking, the Milesian Revolution, the beginnings of physics and philosophy
• Parmenides and the methods for knowledge, two modes of thinking: reason and experience
• Democritus and Leucippus, how to understand the inquiry into nature

• Quiz, Two Prompts (but only one graded), Debriefing


3. Socrates, the historical figure and the character
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Chapters 2 and 3 (35-69, 70-95)

• The Age of Pericles, the trial and execution of Socrates
• Socrates and “love of wisdom” (φιλοσοφία)
• The Sophistical movement
• Two lives, the life in the love of wisdom, the life the Sophists sell

• Quiz, One Prompt, Debriefing


4. Plato and the Academy
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Chapters 4 and 5 (98-130, 131-149)

• The Peloponnesian War and the end of the Golden Age
• The Theory of Recollection, the Theory of Forms, the Tripartite Theory of the Soul
• The just life is better than the unjust life
• A renewed interest in nature, the teleological perspective

• Quiz, Three Prompts, Debriefing


5. Aristotle and the Lyceum
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Chapters 6 - 9 (151-171, 172-187, 188-204, 205-223)

• The rise of Macedon, Alexander the Great, a new school is established in Athens
• The first great Platonist and the first great Platonic critic
• Physics is second philosophy, becoming like the unmovable first mover
• The soul is the form of the body, the divine and human life according to the intellect

• Quiz, Three Prompts, Debriefing


6. The Hellenistic Philosophers
Ancient Greek Philosophy, Chapter 10 (225-256)

• The ancient world from Alexander to Cleopatra
• Epicurus and the Epicureans
• The Stoics
• The Academics

• Quiz, One Prompt, Debriefing



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