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

4.8
stars
1,294 ratings
394 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

AA
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.

LL
Mar 8, 2016

Good intro to early Greek philosophy. Dr Meyer has a simple and subtly humorous approach to the material. Dr Meyer makes the subject approachable so that the student wants to do further reading.

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376 - 386 of 386 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Duarte M

Apr 12, 2020

I liked the content, but the valuation system is flawed, first is very very very easy; second the peer system is bad.

I would like to have a more challenging quizes and actually exams, and a more demanding essay.

I really liked the teacher, but despite the fact you cover a lot of subjects, you can go more deep, although was not mere superficial knowledge.

By Nick d U

May 9, 2016

The course material is OK; the lectures are fun and interesting, but to pass the course you need to submit an assignment that is subjected to peer review and you will need to get approval by all of your peers. However the act of subscribing to a MOOC alone does not make people suited to review other peoples work...

By Julie C

Apr 12, 2016

The professor is animated and clearly loves her subject. I don't think we need to stop so frequently to ask a quiz question though. It's best to keep going on one subject without interruption.

By Mrigank G

Jan 13, 2019

Content is interesting but the teaching style could be more engaging

By Mick H

Aug 30, 2016

Heavy going! Informative though - and an engaging teacher.

By McAteer

May 6, 2021

Try the Reason and Persuasion course instead

By jenny h

Oct 13, 2016

Initially, I was excited about this course, but I lost interest due to two things. First, while the beginning segments about how we know the Presocratics was great, the presentation of the early Milesians was shallow and did not deepen my understanding of their world and thought. Then, the section on Parmenides made me lose faith in the teacher - she presented his main ideas in such a way as to obscure his vision, which is of what we now call a multiverse, a world in which all things exist potentially. The best part of the course was that it made me seek out other writers about Parmenides.

By SAI P

Sep 2, 2019

can give a better explanation in simple term rather more reading content. But overall a good beginner course

By Adele V

Oct 2, 2020

Poor course. Bad teacher bad environment boring and uneducational videos. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about and she says things that simply aren’t true.

By Afsana A A

Jul 19, 2020

Am I not getting any certificate for completing this course or what?

By Plato 3

May 22, 2020

It is not useful.