PHIL 210.001 – Wonder, Myth, and Reason: Introduction to Ancient Greek Science and Philosophy

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Instructor: Ben Schwartz. This course meets TR 8:00 – 9:15 a.m. via synchronous remote instruction.

In this course, we will explore the key philosophical views and ideas of the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. We will examine these philosophers’ views on (among other things) the nature of the world, the nature of knowledge, human virtue, the good life, and the just city-state. To do so, we will survey many of their central works, including selections from Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics.

The first main course objective is to become familiar with some of the most influential ancient Greek philosophers and their views (with the hope that one may be able to connect the issues discussed to one’s own life). The second main objective of the course is to learn how to critically evaluate different arguments and philosophical positions. This will require developing the ability to critically analyze, interpret, and/or defend a viewpoint, both verbally and in writing.

Course assessments will include a midterm, a medium-length paper, a final exam, and class participation.

Required Text: Cohen, Curd, and Reeve, Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy5th edition. (Earlier editions should not be purchased, because they have different contents.)