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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors by University of Pennsylvania

1,415 ratings

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 18, 2020

Excellent course. This course has opened up ancient philosophy to me and made it accessible. I feel I have finished the course a good understanding of such keys texts as Plato's Republic and Timaeus.


Jul 26, 2020

I have never studied Philosophy before at school or on my own, but Professor Meyer made it very clear, interesting and fascinating for me to understand. Following this course has been a pleasure!

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251 - 275 of 419 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Andrew F

Jun 29, 2020

Wonderful explication of Plato and his predecessors.

By Callie G

May 4, 2020

Well-articulated lectures, and good reading material

By Vilmos F

Apr 30, 2020

It made things very easy to understand and exciting.

By Achyuth N

Aug 26, 2020

It certainly increased my curiosity in this matter.

By Paul A A

Sep 15, 2019

Well done. A little superficial, but a great start.

By Gustavo A G A

May 15, 2017

Buena maestra, gran contenido y muy bien explicado.

By George J B

May 15, 2016

Excellent delivery of rather interesting material!

By Itamar F

Feb 13, 2021

Excellent! Loved the lectures by professor Susan.

By Valentina P M

May 25, 2020

Pretty good explanations and methods of teaching.

By Julio C R C

Aug 25, 2020

Me parece excelente los contenidos de este curso

By Georgina M M

Jun 19, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable. Great course! Thank you.

By Shana R

May 18, 2020

Good content to use for my lSAC exam. Thank you


Feb 18, 2016

Interesting, well taught, and enjoyable course!

By Kazumasa S

Apr 13, 2016

Well produced videos and informative lectures.

By luz s r

May 28, 2020

I really liked the ancient philosophy course.

By cecilia l

Jan 18, 2017

Great course. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks.

By Emil

Dec 29, 2020

Very interesting for an introductory course.

By yodhin a

Jun 13, 2020

i really enjoyed learning about these things

By Thomas O

Nov 2, 2016

Quick overview, but very interesting course.

By Sohini B

Feb 21, 2016

The lectures are excellent and interesting.

By Andrea G d l T E

May 26, 2020

Concise videos and interesting reflections

By Pedro I d L S

Sep 23, 2021

Great and very didactic for a 1st course!

By Hercules C

Mar 10, 2021

Excellent! Well structured an presented.

By Maksim O

Mar 15, 2016

An excellent introduction for beginners!

By Fiona W

Nov 4, 2019

I liked everything but the maths parts!