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

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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


Jan 10, 2021

This is an excellent course. The lecturer presents the material very clearly, carefully bringing out what is at stake in the views and arguments of the Greek thinkers and schools she considers.


Apr 25, 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.

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151 - 175 of 200 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors

By Joanna C

Oct 18, 2017

Interesting and informative.

By Charlotta R ( b l

Sep 3, 2016

great course ( part e of 2)

By Tomas M

Jun 19, 2021

Amazing course. Thank you.

By Чафонов В В

May 14, 2022

Good introductory course!

By John V T

Jun 2, 2017

Very Exceptional Course

By Zhou X

May 25, 2016

Short and sweat course!

By William A

Jun 23, 2016

An enlightening course


May 8, 2016

more than great!!!

By Leo T

Jan 3, 2022

Very good course

By Stephen W

Mar 29, 2017

Wonderful course!

By Wes D S

Mar 29, 2017

Loved the course!

By Cédric H

Apr 4, 2016

Excellent course.

By Cezar B S

Feb 23, 2023

Great course!

By Luyao Z

Jan 26, 2017

Great class!

By Matthew V

Aug 17, 2020

I loved it!

By Paul C

Mar 8, 2017

Superb. En

By Abdulaziz S B

Dec 10, 2019


By Kim n y

Feb 28, 2019






By Jorge G

Jul 1, 2020


By 이근영

Jan 31, 2019


By Rajneesh T

Apr 10, 2020


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Jan 31, 2019


By Charles E M

Apr 29, 2018


By William ( A

Jan 4, 2021

Great job organizing and presenting this material. Assuming you are open to hear of possible ways to improve on an already great job, my suggestion would be to expand the Aristotle material a bit and include a discussion of his work developing syllogistic logic. In addition I believe there is an important contrast between Aristotle and Plato it would be worth illuminating-- Plato was all about deductive reasoning, and it was Aristotle, in turning Plato's worldview upside down by declaring that we can trust our senses-- i.e. it is the observable concretes that are the true source of reality and "unrecallable" knowledge. One could argue from this that the genesis of empirical research rests with Aristotle.

By Kenneth M

Apr 4, 2016

Clearly presented.course which focuses only on the principal question and themes of each of the 4 philosophies. I found it extremely valuable as it structured in a logical way these issues and also related themt modern life. My only criticism relates to the grading method of the final assignment 0 or 1 is far too simplistic.