History of Ancient Philosophy
This course will focus on the works of Plato and Aristotle. We will pay special attention at the beginning of the course to the thinking of Socrates as he is presented in Plato's Socratic dialogues. This will set us up to examine the philosophical system of Plato. We will look at how Plato took up certain ethical themes and questions from Socrates and, in addressing them, developed a comprehensive view on the nature of reality, knowledge, governance, and art. We will then look at alternative and often opposing positions on these issues in Aristotle's philosophy. Throughout the course, we will pay special attention to the development of the discipline of philosophy, inquiring into how the two most influential thinkers in history came to see certain questions about human life as essential, as amenable to rational investigation, and as interconnected.