Philosophy 350, Spring Semester 2005
Philosophy 350 is an introduction to Ancient Greek Philosophy. Different instructors will cover different time periods and emphasize different aspects of the philosophers of the time. In the current version of the course, we will cover the period from Thales (approximately f585 BC) through Aristotle (d322). And we will emphasize mostly the methodological views of these philosophers, especially as this applies to their epistemology and metaphysics. Some issues about ethics and political philosophy will also come up, but to a lesser extent.
Here is a course syllabus outlining the work for the course. This is a pdf document, so you need Acrobat Reader to view them. (They will be downloaded onto your computer when you click on them, and then you can view them with your copy of Acrobat Reader). Acrobat Reader is free and can be gotten from here.
And here is an approximate timetable of readings and midterm exam. [Updated Jan 30th. This takes us through the Socrates readings for this course.] [Updated Mar 15. This takes us to the end of the course, including all the Aristotle readingsIšve improved the Plato readings also on this list]. You should be aware that some of the Aristotle readings, especially those from the Metaphysics and De Anima, are quite difficult.
[Updated Feb. 18th] Here are the parts of Plato Republic that we will read. We will also read Plato Meno (especially from the beginning to 86c; pp. 191-204, but it is short so you could read it all), the portion of Plato Pheado that is given in our anthology (72d-107d, 114d-118a; pp. 217-248) (this ignores the death scene, but you could read it also), and the portion of the Parmenides that is given (127b-135d; pp. 536-545). I will talk about other things in Plato that are not in our anthology. Here is an outline of the topics covered in the Phaedo (all of the Phaedo, even though only a portion is in our textbook). And here is a reconstruction of the 'recollection' argument of 72d-77a in the Phaedo.
[Jan. 30] I have put a short discussion of the ethical theory, Utilitarianism, on the web here. I wrote it for a different class that I taught (on J.S. Mill), and so there are some references to Mill in it. But we will be talking a bit about Utilitarianism in the context of Socrates, so this is background information for you.
[Mar. 13] Here is a list of possible paper topics for those of you who wish to improve your midterm grade (as outlined on the course syllabus). Remember that these papers are due on April 6th, the last day of class, and that late papers will not be accepted, since these are not required papers. This list of paper topics goes from the Presocratics through Plato. I will update this shortly with some Aristotle paper topics.
Here are some hints on writing papers for this course. Please review this if you choose to write a paper. (Recall that papers are due April 6th. No late papers.)
You should consult this page regularly for updates to the readings and other information. There is also an email list for the entire class: phil-350 at-sign sfu period ca. (I write it this way so as to prevent web spiders from finding the address, thereby preventing us from being flooded with spam. Replace the at-sign and period with an at-sign and a period.) I will be using this to make announcements to the class, and so you should check your email regularly to make sure you receive any such information.
If you want to contact me by email, use: jeffpell at-sign sfu period ca. This is the most reliable way of contacting me.
My office hours are: Tue 10:3012:00 in WMX 5661. Phone: 604-291-4458.