Summer 2022 - PHIL 350 D100

Ancient Philosophy (3)

Class Number: 4022

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    WMC 3253, Burnaby

    We 2:30 PM – 3:20 PM
    WMC 3510, Burnaby

  • Prerequisites:

    PHIL 150 or 151.



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.


Ancient Greek philosophy: this course surveys a selection of philosophical writings from Ancient Greece, mostly from the classical period. The focus will be on the works of Plato and Aristotle but works of the so-called “presocratics” as well as works from the Hellenistic period will also be discussed. We will seek to precisely understand the thesis advanced by those philosophers as well as the philosophical method they are deploying, and furthermore to situate them in their historical context.


To develop a deeper understanding of the core concepts of logical methodology, including:

- To appreciate the origins and complexity of the core concepts of philosophical methodology.
- To reflect an understanding of the way in which philosophers have both disagreed with each other and built upon each other’s work across schools of thought.
- To establish connections between various writers’ views about philosophy and their views about their society and science broadly construed.
- To become familiar with the philosophical doctrines of some of the historically most impactful philosophers.


  • Participation (see notes) 20%
  • A 6-7 pages midterm paper 25%
  • A 10-15 pages term paper examining an ancient Greek philosophical thesis and including a discussion of some of the secondary literature 55%


Participation (20%) taking two forms:

- Weekly written participation to our discussion board, in terms of raising questions for discussion, and contributing to discussions arising from other students’ questions.

- Participation to in-person seminars.

Attendance will be mandatory.



Readings will be distributed in PDF on Canvas or links will be provided to free text repositories.

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   More details on our website: SFU Philosophy

New elective grade policy : P/CR/NC, pilot project in place from Spring 2021 to Summer 2023. List of exclusions for the new policy. Specifically for Philosophy: 

  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any requirement for a major, joint major, honours, or minor in Philosophy (with the exception of Honours tutorials).
  • Students can use a P or CR to satisfy any prerequisite requirement for any PHIL course.
  • Students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any requirement for the Ethics Certificate, or the Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate.
  • Philosophy Majors and Honours students can use a P (but not a CR) to satisfy any WQB requirement.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University.


Teaching at SFU in summer 2022 will involve primarily in-person instruction.  Some courses may be offered through alternative methods (remote, online, blended), and if so, this will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes. 

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote, online, or blended courses study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning ( or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the summer 2022 term.