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Back to Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors

Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors, University of Pennsylvania

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415 ratings
97 reviews

About this Course

What is philosophy? How does it differ from science, religion, and other modes of human discourse? This course traces the origins of philosophy in the Western tradition in the thinkers of Ancient Greece. We begin with the Presocratic natural philosophers who were active in Ionia in the 6th century BCE and are also credited with being the first scientists. Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximines made bold proposals about the ultimate constituents of reality, while Heraclitus insisted that there is an underlying order to the changing world. Parmenides of Elea formulated a powerful objection to all these proposals, while later Greek theorists (such as Anaxagoras and the atomist Democritus) attempted to answer that objection. In fifth-century Athens, Socrates insisted on the importance of the fundamental ethical question—“How shall I live?”—and his pupil, Plato, and Plato’s pupil, Aristotle, developed elaborate philosophical systems to explain the nature of reality, knowledge, and human happiness. After the death of Aristotle, in the Hellenistic period, Epicureans and Stoics developed and transformed that earlier tradition. We will study the major doctrines of all these thinkers. Part I will cover Plato and his predecessors. Part II will cover Aristotle and his successors....

Top reviews

By JB

Feb 02, 2019

This is an excellent course! The professor is well-timed and the resource material well-selected. In-depth treatment of Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans. Highly recommended.

By DV

Aug 19, 2016

Very much enjoyed this course. Some areas were a review but in others I was able to gain a great deal of new insight into the philosophies that were covered. Many Thanks!

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92 Reviews

By James Richard Booth

Feb 02, 2019

This is an excellent course! The professor is well-timed and the resource material well-selected. In-depth treatment of Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans. Highly recommended.

By Clotilde Dufournet

Feb 02, 2019

Great course, interesting topics and explanations, thanks !

By 이근영

Jan 31, 2019

Cool

By 박기현

Jan 31, 2019

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By Eric Nicholson

Jan 28, 2019

Excellent lectures by Prof Susan Meyer. The only grouse I had was that no-one else seemed actively to be doing the course. And there were no replies by mentors.

By Sidney Clouston

Dec 06, 2018

I enjoyed the course and treatment by the Professor. I learned a lot about this important period in philosophy. Thank you.

By Dimitris Syropoulos

Nov 30, 2018

Fully satisfied. A course that provides us skills to endure our ordeals, and manage our lives.

By 김하희

Aug 11, 2018

I loved this lecture. Thank you!

By Benson Hawk

Aug 09, 2018

Beautifully organized, this is a phenomenal tour through Aristotle's main ideas. Dr. Meyer is an expert on Aristotle, and this course is excellent for that reason!

By Vangel Vesovski

Jul 27, 2018

Excellent overview of Aristotle, the Epicureans, and Stoics. The ideas were clearly expressed in a way that makes learning easier.