Philosophy 25A

Summer 2018 Session A

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
25A Ancient Philosophy Lawrence MTuWTh 10-12 174 Barrows

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy, focusing primarily on Plato and Aristotle. This session, we will focus especially on questions of ethics (How should I live? What is the good life?) and political philosophy (How should we live together? What kinds of political arrangements are just?). However, the systematic character of Greek philosophy — the way in which these philosophers base their ethical views on an understanding of the natural world and our place within it — means that we will also consider questions concerning the nature of reality and and how (or whether) we can have knowledge of it.

The ancient Greeks formulated many of the problems that continue to occupy philosophers, and so the course will provide an introduction to philosophical thinking in general. But the study of ancient philosophers is exciting not only because we share many of their philosophical concerns: We will be attempting to understand a way of thinking that is, in some respects, deeply alien to our own. By doing so, we can come to see our own philosophical assumptions and prejudices in a new light.