CLCV S125 - Introduction to Ancient Philosophy -...

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I NTRODUCTION TO A NCIENT P HILOSOPHY E MILY K RESS (Y ALE S UMMER S ESSION A) C OURSE D ESCRIPTION The aim of this class is to introduce students to the writings and ideas of the major ancient Greek and Roman philosophers and to help students develop the philosophical skills to engage with them. It is organized around three guiding questions about the nature of agency: What is it to act virtuously, and what role does virtue play in the best human life? What is it for one thing to act on another, and more generally, how can we make sense of the phenomena of change and causation? What kind of thing is the soul, and what is its role in psychological phenomena such as perception and motivation? In answering our three guiding questions, we will touch on important themes in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, philosophical methodology, moral psychology, ethics, and metaethics. This is a class in the history of philosophy. It will invite you both to interpret the views of ancient philosophers in their historical contexts and to engage philosophically with the arguments for them. Lectures, class discussions, and written assignments are all designed to help you learn how to work with the arguments found in our readings. For this reason, the class is accessible both to beginners and to students with some prior exposure to philosophy. C OURSE M ATERIALS Plato, Protagoras (Hackett Classics) Plato, Phaedo (Hackett Classics) Plato, Republic (Hackett Classics) (If you already have the Complete Works of Plato, ed. Cooper and Hutchinson, you may use this.) Aristotle, A New Aristotle Reader (ed. Ackrill) Additional readings will be made available on Canvas. C OURSE R EQUIREMENTS 10% Attendance, Preparation, Participation 10% Responses to Canvas Questions 20% Writing Assignment 30% Paper #1 30% Paper #2 A TTENDANCE , P REPARATION , AND P ARTICIPATION : Attendance is mandatory. If extenuating circumstances require you to miss class, please contact me in advance. You are expected to come to class having done the readings and prepared to discuss them. Since the readings are difficult, you might have to re ad parts of them more than once. I’ve tried to choose readings that are short enough to leave you the
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