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

623 ratings
172 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

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.

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.

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76 - 100 of 168 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors

By Simon M

May 28, 2020

The teacher was excellent, especially in her clear explanations of the Stoics vs the Epicureans.

By Antonia Y

Mar 7, 2016

Very good professor. She explains everything clearly and is really enthusiastic about the topic.

By Dimitris S

Nov 30, 2018

Fully satisfied. A course that provides us skills to endure our ordeals, and manage our lives.

By Carole L P

Jun 4, 2020

Really great course. Learned so much about Aristotle. Good course. Glad to have taken it.

By Jamie L

Aug 4, 2019

awesome course!! lots of takeaways from the teacher who really makes complex theories clear.

By Kenny S

Feb 2, 2018

Awesome, Professor highly recommend.This class added yo my knowledge in Philosophy,Thank you

By Dimitris P

Oct 13, 2016

Excellent course with precious insights in the works of Aristotle, Epicurus and the stoics.

By Sajid K

May 31, 2020

Very well structured, it explains complex ideas simply. Makes philosophy very interesting!

By Erica

Jul 24, 2017

Excellent teacher! I can't wait to start the next part (which is actually the first one)!!

By Don E

Jun 11, 2020

Very informative and detailed course! I found it both interesting and thought provoking.

By Abid A

Jun 7, 2020

Great course , well explained, recommend to anybody who have no background in philosophy.


Oct 10, 2016

Excellent course for beginners. Thanks to Prof. Susan Sauvé Meyer and the Coursera staff.

By Felipe V R

Jun 14, 2016

A fantastic course, simple, high-level and didactic, rare thing to see. congratulations!

By Feng L Y

Jul 21, 2016

I like the quiz between subjects in every video courses. It is really interesting.

By Ravitte K

Nov 1, 2016

Well done and thought provoking. Only good things to say about the professor.

By Deleted A

Apr 16, 2016

This is one of my top three favorite courses I've taken on Coursera so far!

By Muhammad A

Jun 25, 2016

This is an interesting and enjoyable course of well connected study units.

By Vaibhav A

May 26, 2020

Loved it! Such an insightful observation into Ancient Greek philosophy!

By Mary S

Jun 14, 2017

Fascinating and explained very clearly. The professor is excellent.

By Leon H

Aug 24, 2020

Certainly a good introduction, with more content than only history.

By John D

Apr 29, 2016

The combination of this and the related Plato course are excellent.

By Clifton L

Apr 4, 2020

I enjoyed this course and the lectures were professional provided.

By Simon S S

Mar 29, 2017

Excellent course with a fitting mix of challenges and material!

By Dieter P

Jan 29, 2021

Just like the first part, this course was a great experience.

By Anagnostopoulou E

Jan 9, 2020

Excellent! Great outline of schedule, amazing instructor!