CLCIV 388 - History of Philosophy: Ancient
Section: 001
Term: FA 2017
Subject: Classical Civilization (CLCIV)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Notes:
Enforced Prerequisites:
One philosophy course with a grade of at least a C-.
Advisory Prerequisites:
Knowledge of Greek or Latin is not required.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

This course is an introductory survey of ancient Greek & Roman philosophy, from its beginnings in the 6th century BCE through the Hellenistic period and first centuries of the Roman empire. We will cover all the major movements and figures during this period: Presocratics, Sophists, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cyrenaics, Cynics, Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics.

Many of the central problems of Western philosophy were first formulated during this period:

  • What is the ultimate nature of reality? Is anything permanent, or is everything in flux? Or is everything relative to our perceptions and beliefs?
  • How should I lead my life? What would be fulfilling? Pleasure? Doing what’s right? Am I free? Or are my actions determined by prior events?
  • Is death something to be afraid of? Is the soul immortal?
  • Is knowledge possible? Can we trust in the reliability of the senses? Or even in the power of reason itself?

Course Requirements:

Three papers (1 short, two medium), final exam, reading questions

Intended Audience:

Anyone interested in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. No knowledge of Greek or Latin required — all texts in translation.

This course counts towards the history requirement for Philosophy majors. It also counts towards requirements for concentrators in Classical Civilization and, with permission, in Greek and Latin Language and Literature

Class Format:

3 hrs lecture + 1 hr discussion/week

CLCIV 388 - History of Philosophy: Ancient
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
W 3:00PM - 4:00PM
003 (DIS)
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

ISBN: 9780691020433
A new Aristotle reader, Author: edited by J.L. Ackrill., Publisher: Princeton University Press 1989
ISBN: 9780872206335
Five dialogues / Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Meno, Phaedo., Author: Plato ; translated by G.M.A. Grube, Publisher: Hackett Pub. Co. 2nd ed. 2002
ISBN: 0872203786
Hellenistic philosophy : introductory readings, Author: translated, with introduction and notes, by Brad Inwood and L. P. Gerson., Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company 2. ed. 1997
ISBN: 9780872201361
Republic, Author: Plato ; revised by C.D.C. Reeve., Publisher: Hackett Publ. Co [2nd ed.]. 1992
ISBN: 9780915145690
The Handbook of Epictetus, Author: translated with introduction and annotations by Nicholas White., Publisher: Hackett 1983
ISBN: 9780199539093
The first philosophers : the pre-Socratics and sophists, Author: translated with commentary by Robin Waterfield., Publisher: Oxford University Press reissued 2009
ISBN: 0195179560
Writing philosophy : a student's guide to writing philosophy essays, Author: by Lewis Vaughn., Publisher: Oxford University Press 2005
Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

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