Fall 2019 - PHIL 350 D100
Ancient Philosophy (3)
Class Number: 4813
Delivery Method: In Person
Examines central philosophical themes and figures in ancient philosophy. Topics may include justice, knowledge, the good life, time, change, appearance and reality, the nature of God, and others. Historical readings will be the central focus and may include works by Plato, Aristotle, Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Parmenides and others.
The philosophy of Ancient Greece is foundational for all subsequent Western philosophy, and its study is crucial to understanding the modes and questions of philosophical inquiry up to the present day. In this course, students will gain an introduction to major works and themes in Ancient Philosophy; because the subject matter is vast indeed, we will do so through a lens focused in particular on conceptions of the good life, or εὐδαιμονία, in Ancient philosophy. Through this lens, we will engage not only with questions of how we, as individuals, ought to live, but also how we, as a collective, should order society to the end of human flourishing. Obliquely, this will require us to also consider issues of metaphysics, epistemology, and natural philosophy. We will discuss the ideas of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle through several dialogues and the major works Republic and Nicomachean Ethics, as well as consider the Hellenistic ethical schools of Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Cynicism through the works of figures such as Epicurus, Epictetus, and Diogenes. Throughout our course of study, we will turn regularly to the reception of these historical figures and discussions of their work among contemporary philosophers, such as Martha Nussbaum, Rosalind Hursthouse, Julia Annas, and Nancy Sherman.
In-class instruction will be lecture-based, with ample time given for discussion in both small and large groups. Class time may sometimes include other interactive or active learning activities, and audio and/or visual media may also be employed. Students are expected to attend weekly lectures having read and considered the material assigned for that week, and prepared to share their own reactions and actively listen to those of others. To facilitate this, students will submit a weekly question on the reading the day before class. Students should also be attentive to assignment expectations and due dates, and proactive in seeking assistance or accommodation as needed.
- Weekly question on the reading (1% for completion in each of 10 weeks) 10%
- First Abstract (150 - 200 words) 5%
- First Essay (1500 - 1800 words) 20%
- Second Abstract (150 - 200 words) 5%
- Second Essay (1500 - 1800 words) 30%
- Final Exam 30%
Abstracts and Essays: Two essays (one in the middle of the term, and one toward the end of the term) will each be preceded three weeks in advance by an abstract outlining a proposed topic and thesis. The abstracts will be returned with feedback and constructive criticism two weeks in advance of the essay deadline, so that students will be able to integrate the feedback they receive into their essay.
Policy on Extensions and Late Assignments: Extensions on assignments may be granted in extenuating circumstances, by explicit prior arrangement with the instructor; approval for such requests is evaluated on a case-by-case basis at the instructor’s discretion, and will ordinarily require documented evidence of medical or personal emergency. Essays received after the stated deadline without such an arrangement having been made will be subject to a late penalty of 5% per day, including weekends and holidays. Assignments worth 5% or less of the course grade (i.e., weekly questions and essay abstracts) will not be accepted after the stated deadline, because of their time-sensitive nature.
Plato. Five Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo, trans. G.M.A. Grube, 2nd edition. Hackett, 2002
ISBN: ISBN: 978-0-87220-63
Aristotle. The Nicomachean Ethics, trans. T. Irwin, 2nd edition. Hackett, 2000
Plato. Republic, trans. G.M.A. Grube, 2nd edition. Hackett, 1992
ISBN: ISBN: 9780872201361
All other required readings will be posted as links or downloadable PDFs to the online course portal. A list of these additional works will be given at the beginning of the term, along with suggestions of inexpensive print editions, for any students who may prefer to obtain hard copies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org More details on our website: SFU Philosophy
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