PHIL 210.001 – Ancient Greek Philosophy

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Instructor: Lindsay Brainard. This course meets MTWRF 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. in CW 213.

In this course, we will contend with philosophical puzzles posed by ancient Greek philosophers and the solutions these thinkers offered. We will spend some time in the beginning of the course considering the works of the pre-Socratics; however, the majority of our attention will be devoted to the works of Plato and Aristotle. We will discuss historically important responses from these philosophers to questions in ethics (e.g. “What is the good life?”), political philosophy (e.g. “What is the structure of a just human society?”), metaphysics (e.g. “In virtue of what do objects have their properties?”), and epistemology (e.g. “What is knowledge?”). At various junctures, we will compare the answers these ancient thinkers gave to the treatment these questions have received by later historical figures and contemporary philosophers.

Classes will proceed primarily by lecture, though there will be a significant discussion component for this course. This course will serve as a good introduction to philosophical thought for students who have not yet taken any other philosophy courses, and it will also be appropriate for students who have already studied some philosophy and are interested in learning more about ancient Greek thought.