PHIL 388 - History of Philosophy: Ancient
Fall 2017, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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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.
Other Course Info:
Taught in English. F.
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


PHIL 388 - History of Philosophy: Ancient
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
002 (DIS)
 In Person
W 3:00PM - 4:00PM
003 (DIS)
 In Person
Th 4:00PM - 5:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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