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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors by University of Pennsylvania

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125 reviews

About the Course

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....

Top reviews

LG

Apr 26, 2019

Excellent course, Pr. Sauvé-Meyer keeps the material very engaging, and makes it very clear and easily accessible. Knowing how difficult the original texts are sometimes, this is very valuable.

JB

Feb 02, 2019

This is an excellent course! The professor is well-timed and the resource material well-selected. In-depth treatment of Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans. Highly recommended.

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1 - 25 of 120 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors

By Tatiana N

Mar 24, 2016

I am a mathematician, who is interested in learning and developing philosophical ideas concerning the origin of modern science. I am periodically taking philosophical courses here and there to be clear about basic notions of classical philosophical thought. I have never met such a strong qualified lecturer as Professor Susan Sauvé Meyer before. She managed to present the whole body of Aristotelian philosophy in a catchy scheme without any loss of his points. Her explanations are precise and clear. I am admired of her lectures and going to take as many of her courses as I can find.

By Gavin C

Oct 17, 2017

In ancient philosophy you will learn who asked the 'big' questions. Questions that are still being debated in our own times by the religious and philosophically minded as well as explored in the arts and sciences. Prof. Meyer's narrative is informative and probing while not being judgemental. Assessing the quality of the ideas and underlying logic is left up to the student. A first rate course by a top class teacher!

By Aliaksei K

Feb 28, 2018

Philosophy is the way to understand the world by using rational structures of mind. Taking it into account, it's really important to have deep understanding of philosophical concepts and theories. The course really helps you to grasp the understanding of such kind. The lecturer explains genius ideas of ancient greek philosophers in a clear logically sequential way using excellent language. Definitely recommend!

By James R B

Feb 02, 2019

This is an excellent course! The professor is well-timed and the resource material well-selected. In-depth treatment of Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Epicureans. Highly recommended.

By Benson H

Aug 09, 2018

Beautifully organized, this is a phenomenal tour through Aristotle's main ideas. Dr. Meyer is an expert on Aristotle, and this course is excellent for that reason!

By Eric N

Jan 28, 2019

Excellent lectures by Prof Susan Meyer. The only grouse I had was that no-one else seemed actively to be doing the course. And there were no replies by mentors.

By Jessica P

May 14, 2020

I took this course during covid. I am educated in civil engineering and have worked in the industry for almost 20 yrs. I took the free version of this course because I genuinely wanted to learn about philosophy when my background and course education has never given me options to. The course was wonderfully laid out and easy to understand coming from no background knowledge and it really opened my eyes. Thank you for making what seemed like it may be a difficult thing to learn late in life easy to understand and enjoyable. I am doing the free version so won’t be doing the final written assignments or peer reviews. Thank you again for making learning fun!!

By Tina S

May 20, 2020

Thank you ! It has been a wonderful learning experience for me. Although I understand that I have only touched some of the basic of Greek ancient philosophy , but this course have given me an informative overview of its topical issues and key analytical arguments . It surely help me to read more related books and literature in the future.

And a special thanks to Professor Susan Meyer ! She is a cool, clear minded and wonderful teacher ! I feel so fortunate to be able to learn from her !

By Nicolas L C

Apr 11, 2017

This is a great introduction to Ancient philosophy for all of those who want to obtain more knowledge about the invaluable legacy of the Greek miracle !

I deeply recommend this course, which brought be excellent additional material in Ancient philosophy useful to every philosophy student but also to anyone who wants to acquire in depth general knowledge of the roots of our civilisation, the whole brilliantly taught in a rigorous and entertaining fashion !

Thank you Professor Meyer !

By Marco A d C S

Oct 09, 2016

I would like to thank the University faculty, especially professor Susan Meyer, for the excellent lessons offered to participants. I have learned a lot about Aristotle and the following schools. The video lessons contained a wealth of information on the subject. The participants also proved very interested in sharing their views and discussing some of the intriguing topics raised by the professor and by other participants. The course was truly outstanding.

By ANDRES R P D

Jun 21, 2018

I have been enriched with : Deeper comprehension of epicure’s doctrineClearer justification of “the goal of life”A better global vision of ancient Greek PhilosophyA knew view of the universe, conscience and identity BESIDESI learned a very brilliant way of teaching, high standards of didactic and pedagogic design of a syllabus and well done and attractive lectures. I also enjoyed professor grace and elegance of charming Susan S Mayer.

By Hanno H

Feb 17, 2017

I very much liked the course, it has a good pace and the Professor, Susan Sauvé Meyer, does a great job in presenting the material. As the course goes on material discussed before is revisited, there are running examples (so to speak) and the set up generally seems to have been well planned and constructed in advance. This is a course anyone can follow casually on the side, its fun and offers a lot. Thank you

By J. Q A

Jan 21, 2017

This course gives an excellent tour of the thought of Aristotle and his successors. The course focuses on the main points of Aristotle's thought and gives the student an excellent frame work for understanding Aristotle's thought without getting lost in the details. A better course that leaves the student capable of going off and reading Aristotle on their own would be hard to produce. Great job.

By Robert A B

Sep 11, 2016

Professor Meyer gave exemplary lectures while explaining a variety of different philosophical schools. I found the course interesting and enriching primarily due to the high quality of the lectures given by Professor Meyer. The questions during the lectures were helpful and the quizzes were short and effective in testing learning. May Professor Meyer live long and continue to teach!

By Nicholas K

Apr 07, 2016

Both of the Ancient Philosophy courses, Plato and His Predecessors, and Aristotle and His Successors were excellent. Susan is a very good lecturer, clear, and precise.

I have completed 'Introduction to Philosophy' and the 'Philosophy of Science', both at the University of Edinburgh, and can highly recommend Susan's courses at University of Pennsylvania as the next step.

By Caitlin N

Jan 30, 2017

I thoroughly enjoyed this course! I started with practically no knowledge on the subject, and finished with a great understanding. The course was not difficult to follow; had interesting and easy to understand lectures, and provided brilliant resources for background study. I highly recommend this course for anybody interested in Philosophy!

By Wei L

Jun 27, 2016

The gold of Aristotle's classic has been expertly mined out and presented in a connoisseur way for the appreciation, which give this lecture its form, or in Aristotle's term, its soul to be alive.

Professor Meyer rarely smiled, but when she did, she smiled very charmingly. ; )

By Nicolau N S

May 19, 2020

Again, like I have said in the end of Part I, this was a wonderful learning experience. I feel very grateful to Coursera, to the University of Pennsylvania and specially to Susan Meyer. This will certainly help me as a philosophy teacher in the future. Thanks!

By Emanuela Z

Aug 27, 2019

This course is well structured. Organized in a chronological sense, it allows us to compare the idea of philosophers considered with contemporaries and precedents.

The intermediate exercises and questions are effective for a better understanding.

By Skye H

Mar 27, 2020

Lecturer is clear and organized. Material is interesting and enjoyable. I learned a lot and would recommend this course to anyone who is of a philosophical bent and wishes to know more about the foundations of Western philosophy.

By Lee

Dec 21, 2019

Enjoyed this survey of Aristotle, the Epicureans, and the Stoics! Good introduction to the ideas, with easy to understand examples that make it possible to understand the translated readings that precede them.

By Paolo R

May 16, 2020

Un curso excelente! Susan Sauve Meyer la profesora es una persona excelente y con mucho conocimiento en la materia, y te explica paso a paso y perfectamente cada unidad y lectura del curso. Muchas gracias!

By Laurent G

Apr 26, 2019

Excellent course, Pr. Sauvé-Meyer keeps the material very engaging, and makes it very clear and easily accessible. Knowing how difficult the original texts are sometimes, this is very valuable.

By Sylvia H K

Apr 03, 2016

An excellent start to get knowledge about the philosophy principle of the ancient thinkers. Their vision have influenced the way of thinking in European and Western culture.

By D.Scott V

Aug 19, 2016

Very much enjoyed this course. Some areas were a review but in others I was able to gain a great deal of new insight into the philosophies that were covered. Many Thanks!