ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY

From the Presocratics to the Hellenistic Philosophers

INTRODUCTION

PHI 328: History of Ancient Philosophy

Thomas A. Blackson
Philosophy Faculty
School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies
Arizona State University
blackson@asu.edu
tomblackson.com, www.public.asu/~blackson

Some online resources



Silver tetradrachm (τετράδραχμον). Athena on the obverse. On the reverse, her sacred owl, an olive sprig, and ΑΘΕ for Athen
Athens, 5th century BCE. Silver tetradrachm (τετράδραχμον). Athena on the obverse. On the reverse, her sacred owl, an olive sprig, and ΑΘΕ for ΑΘΕΝΑΙΟΝ ("belonging to, or property of, the Athenians").


Herodotus (5th century BCE Greek historian) reports that the Lydians were the first to use coins.

"The customs of the Lydians are like those of the Greeks, except that they make prostitutes of their female children. They were the first men whom we know who coined and used gold and silver currency" (Herodotus, Histories I.94).

Lydia (in western Asia Minor) was located on important trade routes that ran west to the Aegean Sea, east to central Asia, and southeast to Mesopotamia.

Course Outline
The Period and Method of Study

PRESOCRATICS

Introduction

Chapter 1: THE MILESIAN REVOLUTION
The Milesians Turn to Nature
Reason and Experience
A Defense of the Inquiry into Nature

SOCRATES

Texts

Chapter 2: THE GOOD LIFE
Plato writes about Socrates
Wisdom is a State of the Soul
Socratic Intellectualism

Chapter 3: AGAINST THE SOPHISTS
The Sophistic Movement
The Sophist sells Teachings for the Soul
The Power of Rhetoric

PLATO

Texts

Chapter 4: THREE PLATONIC THEORIES
The Theory of Recollection
The Theory of Forms
The Tripartite Theory of the Soul

Chapter 5: JUSTICE AND ITS REWARD
The Opening Conversation and the Challenge
Justice in the City and in the Individual Human Being
The Just Life is Better than the Unjust Life

ARISTOTLE

Texts

Chapter 6: SECOND PHILOSOPHY
The Existence of Natural Bodies
Natures are Forms in Matter
Teleology in Nature

Chapter 7: PSYCHOLOGY
The Soul is the Form of the Body
The Process of Induction
Becoming like the First Unmovable Mover

Chapter 8: FIRST PHILOSOPHY
Knowledge of Being as Being
Thinking about Substance
No Universal is a Substance

Chapter 9: ETHICS
The Good Life for a Human Being
Happiness is Contemplation
Happiness and Practical Wisdom

HELLENISTIC PHILOSOPHERS

Texts

Chapter 10: REACTION TO THE CLASSICAL TRADITION
Epicurus and the Garden
Zeno and the Stoics
Arcesilaus and the Academics




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