Philosophy 25A

Summer 2024 Session A

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
25A Ancient Philosophy Gooding MTuWTh 12-2 Wheeler 220

This course is an introduction to Ancient Greek philosophy, focusing especially on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, with briefer glances at the Presocratic philosophers, as well the main Hellenistic schools (the Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics).

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.

Some of the questions that ancients asked and which we will consider include: How should we understand the fundamental structure or nature or reality? What kinds of beings can be said to truly exist? What is it to possess knowledge, as opposed to mere opinion? What kind of life should I live and what kind of person should I aspire to be? What does justice require of us, individually and collectively?