GREEK 556 - Greek Philosophical Literature I
Section: 001
Term: WN 2018
Subject: Greek (GREEK)
Department: LSA Classical Studies
Advisory Prerequisites:
Graduate standing in Classical Studies or permission of instructor.
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

In the popular imagination, Stoicism is associated mainly with ethics, due to the surviving works of later Stoics such as Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. But the early Stoics, who were active during the Hellenistic period (late 4th – 1st c. BCE), were no less influential in their time for their philosophy of mind, language, and action. They changed not only the vocabulary used by all philosophical schools in later antiquity, but the very terms of debate. The effects of this shift can still be felt today. Our own discussions of propositional attitudes and mental representations have developed within a framework established by early modern philosophers, from Descartes through Hume, who were themselves profoundly influenced by the debates in Hellenistic philosophy, especially those between Stoics and Sceptics.

The most significant change the Stoics introduced was to regard every psychological state as fundamentally involving a representation (phantasia) of the world?—?not only our perceptions, beliefs, and thoughts, but also our passions, desires, and intentions. The content of these representations — what they called “lekta,” literally what can be said or meant, certain abstract objects that exhibit many of the syntactic and semantic features of language — allows reasoning, deliberation, and argument. As rational creatures, we need not be carried along by our impressions as animals are, but through reflection and deliberation can endorse or reject these views of the world, or withhold our commitment entirely. This framework provides them with the basis for a strongly unified and systematic treatment of mental states, in close connection with the language used to report and express them?—?an emphasis only intimated in the works of Plato and Aristotle.

Course Requirements:

No data submitted

Intended Audience:

Graduate students

Class Format:

There will also be an extra meeting of one hour each week for those who have some facility Greek, in order to translate and discuss selections of the original text together. (These meetings are obligatory for students enrolled in GREEK556.)

GREEK 556 - Greek Philosophical Literature I
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
Th 6:30PM - 9:00PM
NOTE: Data maintained by department in Wolverine Access. If no textbooks are listed below, check with the department.

Long & Sedley vol 1 is the main text and required (ISBN-13 ending 69) ? only buy vol. 2 if you want Greek and Latin (ISBN-13 ending 76). Inwood & Gerson is an additional, partially overlapping set of translations, useful for triangulating if you don't have the original languages (and cheap!). The additional books are recommended, but not required; only for background.
ISBN: 9780521275569
The Hellenistic philosophers, Author: A.A. Long, D.N. Sedley., Publisher: Cambridge University Press Reprinted. 2006
ISBN: 9780521275576
The Hellenistic philosophers., Author: A.A. Long, D.N. Sedley., Publisher: Cambridge University Press 1st pbk. e 2000
ISBN: 9780872203785
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: 9780521531955
Against the logicians, Author: Sextus Empiricus. Transl. and ed. by Richard Bett., Publisher: Cambridge Univ. Press 1. publ. 2005
ISBN: 9780872207745
On academic scepticism, Author: Cicero. Transl., with introd. and notes, by Charles Brittain., Publisher: Hackett 2006
ISBN: 9780674995178
Plutarch's Moralia., Author: with an Engl. transl. by Frank Cole Babbitt ..., Publisher: Heinemann Repr. 1993
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