Philosophical Classics I: Ancient Western Philosophy|
Fall 2006 not offered
COL 359, CCIV 217|
"Philosophy" as we now know it (at least in the Western tradition) began with the Greeks. The Ancient Greek philosophers were concerned with the very same questions which concern us today: what happiness is (and how to attain it), what it means to be a "good" or "virtuous" person, what a just political system should look like, whether humans can attain certain knowledge of anything (and, if so, what we can know), and what the nature of the ultimate reality is. Their various answers are of course intrinsically interesting: but more than that, the Greek philosophers provided the theoretical foundations for much of what we now know as "Western civilization" (modern-day America included). Hence, to learn about the Greeks is to learn about ourselves. This is a course in the history of philosophy, and its scope is the sixth through the fourth centuries B.C. We will examine the major Greek philosophical figures and movements of this time period, and we will do so through a close analysis of primary texts. The main focus of the course will be three topics: the Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle. The main issues to be encountered include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, rhetoric, sophistry, politics, religion, and philosophy itself. Students in this course must be willing to engage with texts that are frequently dense, difficult, and perplexing (even for the instructor).
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Lecture/Discussion||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CCIV)(CLAS)(COL)(PHIL)(PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)
Selected from among Presocratic writings, Socratic philosophy, Plato, Aristotle and Hellenistic philosophers.
|Examination and Assignments: |
Four 5-8 page papers, two oral exams, some short assignments and written exams.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
Philosophy requires thoughtful discussion. Careful reading of each day's assignments and participation in class and in discussion sections will be expected and will have a significant part in determining grades.