Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors
date_range Débute le 20 mars 2017
event_note Se termine le 24 avril 2017
list 5 séquences
assignment Niveau : Introductif
chat_bubble_outline Langue : Anglais
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Les infos clés

credit_card Formation gratuite
timer 25 heures de cours

En résumé

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.

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Le programme

  • Week 1 - Aristotle’s Categories
    Aristotle’s anti-Platonic metaphysics: the ultimate realities are ordinary objects of our experience, like people and animals. Each of these is a substances, the most fundamental type of being.
  • Week 2 - Aristotle's Natural Philosophy
    Natural substances have matter and form, and natural processes are goal-directed. Every living thing, plants and animals included, has a soul that moves it.
  • Week 3 - Aristotle's Ethics
    The motion of the universe is eternal and its cause is an eternal unmoved mover, Aristotle’s god. Our goal in life is to achieve happiness, which comes in two varieties: the human happiness we achieve by exercising the virtues of character, and the godlike h...
  • Week 4 - Epicureanism
    Epicureans return to the atomism of Democritus, and find no purpose in nature. Philosophy is a therapeutic practice that removes fear and anxiety and provides us with the tranquility (ataraxia) of the gods.
  • Week 5 - Stoicism
    A providential god is at work in every detail of the cosmos, where everything happens by fate. Our goal in life is to accommodate ourselves to this divine nature by giving up our concern for (but not our pursuit of) worldly objectives.
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Le concepteur

The University of Pennsylvania (commonly referred to as Penn) is a private university, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. A member of the Ivy League, Penn is the fourth-oldest institution of higher education in the United States, and considers itself to be the first university in the United States with both undergraduate and graduate studies.
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