Instructor: Gregory Salmieri. This course meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. in Caldwell 105.
This course surveys the essential content of the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle and considers more briefly some of the earlier thinkers whose ideas form the immediate context for their works.
We will begin with dialogs in which Plato’s is thought to give a reasonable accurate depiction of his mentor Socrates, and will focus on the ethical theses defended in these works and on the standards for knowledge presupposed by them. We will then observe how these theses and standards, in combination with certain ideas and problems from pre-Socratic thought, lead Plato to develop the first philosophical system: an integrated set of ideas about the fundamental nature of reality, man, knowledge, and value. We will then turn to Aristotle’s formulation of the principles of logic and the structure of science. Finally, we will study Aristotle’s own philosophical system, with a focus on the ways in which it is similar to and different from Plato’s.
Gregory Salmieri’s webpage