Fall 2019 - PHIL 150 D900

Great Works in the History of Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 4811

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    Location: TBA

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 11, 2019
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    Location: TBA



A thematic survey of some classical texts in the history of Western philosophy, from late Antiquity to the 19th century, including by figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, de Gournay, Elisabeth of Bohemia, Spinoza, Leibniz, du Ch√Ętelet, Hume, Astell, Wollstonecraft, Kant, Mill, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and others. Themes may include the nature of the human being, the role of God in philosophical thought, conceptions of the good life, and others. Open to all students. Students with credit for PHIL 151 may not take this course for further credit. Breadth-Humanities.


Suppose that one were of a reflective disposition, and wondered exactly what one's situation is in the world—to make sense of it—to ask “What's going on?” One immediately sees that the attempt to answer such a question raises more questions. Why are we here? What sort of place is here? What sort of things are we? What is our relationship to 'here'? What then would be the best way to go about being here, or go about living? Do we have a purpose for being here? If so, what is it? And is it related to how to live best? How can we know any of this? And so on.

In this course we will be examining how Philosophers in Ancient Greece and Rome approached and answered these questions. We will primarily focus upon the works of Plato and Aristotle, but we will also discuss two of the philosophical traditions that came later--Epicureanism and Stoicism.


PHIL 150 may be applied towards the Breadth-Humanities Requirement. It is a required course for the Philosophy Major. 


  • Participation (assessed on the basis of both attendance and contributions to class discussion) 10%
  • Short Assignments 10%
  • Two Midterms (25% each) 50%
  • Final Exam 30%



Miller, Patrick Lee, C.D.C. Reeve, and Lloyd P. Gerson, eds., Introductory Readings in Greek and Roman Philosophy, 2nd edition, Hackett.

ISBN-13: 978-1-62466-352-9

Department Undergraduate Notes:

Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at philmgr@sfu.ca   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

Registrar Notes:

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