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Back to Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors

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

587 ratings
161 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 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.


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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76 - 100 of 156 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors

By abid a

Jun 07, 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 01, 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 30, 2016

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

By Clifton L

Apr 04, 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 Anagnostopoulou E

Jan 10, 2020

Excellent! Great outline of schedule, amazing instructor!

By christiane b

Jan 13, 2017

Absolutely wonderful! Susan Meyer is a fabulous teacher!

By Antonio M M

Aug 20, 2017

Professional, well-organized, instructive and enjoyable.

By 王雨嘉

Aug 08, 2016

Though I feel it a bit hard, but it's still interesting.

By Marcelo H S

Aug 15, 2020

Wonderful! I was wishing to do this since long time.

By Mandeep K

Jun 15, 2020

Highly recommended course for all literature lovers

By leslie l

May 04, 2016

Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana

By Chengyue Z

Jun 30, 2020

wonderful introduction to ancient philosophy

By Andrés F M M

Jun 02, 2020

Very interesting course. Fully recommended.

By Luiz F B P F

Mar 02, 2018

Amazing content. I enjoyed and lernt a lot.

By George C M

Apr 19, 2016

Good course well presented and interesting.

By Sarah D

Apr 06, 2017

A very detailed and comprehensive course.