Greek Philosophy
001 LEC
Days and Time: 
TTh 2-3:29P
Magrin, Sara
Additional Notes: 

Fulfills the L & S breadth requirement in Historical Studies and Philosophy & Values.

Course Description: 

The primary goal of this course is to offer an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. We will start by examining the kind of questions in which the first Greek philosophers, the so-called Presocratics, are interested. As we will see, these concern natural philosophy, and, more precisely, the causes of the universe and of all natural things. Then we will look at Socrates and at the different type of questions he is interested in. These may be called “ethical questions”, as they aim to deepen our understanding of what a good life is and of what we need to do to achieve it. What should we care for in order to live well, Socrates wonders, money, political power, or something else? His answer is that, to live well, we need to care for our soul. But, one might ask, what is a soul, and what does it mean to care for it? To see how one can approach these questions, and go about answering them, we will examine Plato’s psychology and metaphysics and Aristotle’s criticism of them. Despite their differences, both Plato and Aristotle think that, to live a good life, a human being needs to be virtuous, but does this mean that virtue is all one needs to lead a happy and flourishing life? We will end the course by considering two different answers to this question: that of the Epicureans, who think that a flourishing life is a life of pleasure and that virtue can only be a means to achieve pleasure, and that of the Stoics, who think that virtue is in itself entirely sufficient for happiness.

Section Day/Time Room Instructor Class #
101 DIS W 1-1:59P VLSB2011 McClay, Mark 22438
102 DIS Tu 12-12:59P BARK110 Ramer, Esther 22439
103 DIS F 1-1:59P WHLR30 McClay, Mark 22440
104 DIS Th 4-4:59P DWIN205 Ramer, Esther 22441