What is philosophy? How does it differ from science, religion, and other modes of human discourse? This course traces the origins of philosophy in the Western tradition in the thinkers of Ancient Greece. We begin with the Presocratic natural philosophers who were active in Ionia in the 6th century BCE and are also credited with being the first scientists. Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximines made bold proposals about the ultimate constituents of reality, while Heraclitus insisted that there is an underlying order to the changing world. Parmenides of Elea formulated a powerful objection to all these proposals, while later Greek theorists (such as Anaxagoras and the atomist Democritus) attempted to answer that objection. In fifth-century Athens, Socrates insisted on the importance of the fundamental ethical question—“How shall I live?”—and his pupil, Plato, and Plato’s pupil, Aristotle, developed elaborate philosophical systems to explain the nature of reality, knowledge, and human happiness. After the death of Aristotle, in the Hellenistic period, Epicureans and Stoics developed and transformed that earlier tradition. We will study the major doctrines of all these thinkers. Part I will cover Plato and his predecessors. Part II will cover Aristotle and his successors.
The Milesians & Heraclitus
Parmenides to Plato
Parmenides & His Legacy
测验： Parmenides and His Legacy
Plato’s Apology & Euthyphro
测验： Plato’s Apology and Euthyphro
Plato on Virtue, Teaching, & Justice
测验： Plato’s Meno
Plato’s Republic (books 1-4)
测验： Plato’s Republic
Plato on Reality & Goodness
Plato’s Republic (books 5-7)
测验： Republic Books 5-7
测验： Plato’s Timaeus
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Once you enroll and purchase the course, you’ll have access to all content once the session begins (for session-based course) or immediately (for self-paced courses); if you choose to explore the course without purchasing, you may not be able to access certain assignments. You can watch the lectures and submit the assignments at any time that works for you, although you should try to keep up with the suggested deadlines to stay on track.
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