The Dennes Room

Philosophy 25A

Summer 2020 1st 6wks

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
25A Ancient Philosophy Gooding MTuWTh 10-12 1041 Wheeler

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy, focusing especially on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, with occasional glances at the Presocratics and the Hellenistic Schools.

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.

This semester the course will be divided into two thematic subsections. In the first sub-section (“Knowledge of Nature”), we will consider the accounts given by various ancient philosophers of the natural world and our knowledge of it. In the second (“Ethics and Politics”), we will consider how they addressed questions in moral and political philosophy – questions like, “How should we live?” and “What does justice demand of us?”