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

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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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76 - 100 of 386 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By ANDRES R P D

May 8, 2018

Excellence in presentation and content of the theme. Indispensable step for further comprehension of evolution of philosophical ideas until our times. Discovering the hidden details laying in the crib of science and philosophy.

By Aida T

May 24, 2020

A great introductory course and I loved the lectures. Prof. Meyer is an eloquent speaker and an excellent teacher on dissecting abstract topics into practical examples. Greatly enjoyed it and I will be taking the next course.

By Rafa M

Apr 6, 2017

The course is simply amazing! I have learned so much about the real philosophy and how to put it to use! I surely recommend it. The professor is very knowledgable that makes it easy for us to see philosophy as a real subject.

By Kevin A

Apr 14, 2021

Un viaje muy agradable en la historia de la filosofía antigua, en donde analizamos las ideas y contexto de esas personas tan sabias que empezaron la genial tradición de pensar mucho sobre temas de la naturaleza y la persona.

By Ricardo S C

May 25, 2020

It's my first time with this kind of knowledgement topics. And if somebody wants to learn about this, it's a good way to start, because you would like to know what happened then and how this helped developing the philosophy.

By pooyan

Jan 1, 2018

I'm listened to this course with minimal background in philosophy. Susan is a very organized lecturer. Super cohesive material, all parts of the speech connect together at the end and create the big picture for the audience.

By FRANCISCO D

Jun 2, 2020

An excellent course taught by and extraordinary professor. I´m happy and proud of have taken this course and very excited to keep learning on Ancient Philosophy with Professor Meyer in the next course. Thank you very much.

By JCarlos P

Nov 20, 2017

What an elegant and valuable introduction to the subject matter ! Prof Meyer speech's flow is naturally captivating which helps to deliver the content a lot more effectively. I appreciated it ! Thx to all.

best rgds,

By Jutta B

Feb 2, 2021

A fantastic introduction into ancient Philosophy and into the thought of Sokrates. Most inspiring and stimulating! It gives me a basis for understanding the concepts that lie behind discussions about what is knowledge.

By Silvia F

May 7, 2020

It has been a very clarifying course.

The teacher talk crearly and her voice captured my interest.

The questions made during the units provided the student of a genuing tool to know if he is understanding it.

I enjoy it.

By John F

Mar 31, 2016

Excellent!! I can't say enough good things about the professor. She does an amazing job explaining the more complex ideas and concepts in a way that is clear and very easy to understand. Great course so far.

By Daniela M

Jun 1, 2021

Professor Sauve Meyer is a great teacher, she gives clear explanations and examples to help us understand better such difficult, yet universal themes. I enjoyed this course and I hope to keep on learning.

By C

May 26, 2020

I knew nothing about Philosophy and wanted to learn. This is a great place to start. The professor is an awesome lecturer and gives great interpretations for the subject matter. I will be back for part 2!

By Emanuela Z

Aug 3, 2019

It was very instructive to study Greek philosophy starting from documents.

The lessons were clear and effective, I will continue with the next course

Thank you for the study opportunity you are giving

By Noemi M

Jul 27, 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!

By ivan l a

Jun 8, 2020

I loved the course. Excelent teacher and materials. Motivate to continue studying philosophy.

Me gusto mucho el curso. Excelente la profesora y los materiales. Motiva seguir estudiando filosofía.

By Yashika

Apr 2, 2019

I was always wanted to know things on Ancient Philosophy, This course has an over all understanding for Plato's work and his students with their different prospective on him and his philosophy.

By Matthew A

Oct 18, 2019

Well taught and a very reasonable course load. Though I've studied some of the writings from this period, the class provided good structure and new insights, especially on the pre-Socratics.

By Alberto H

Mar 16, 2016

Highly recommended. This course was a great guide to understand to pre socratic philosophers. Professor Susan Sauvé Meyer is very clear in her explanations. Thanks a lot. I enjoy the course.

By Alejandra F M

Nov 2, 2020

I have never studied ancient philosophy before, but I really enjoyed this course. I thought the video lectures really explained the key ideas well. I will look forward to the second part.

By Bruna F

Jul 26, 2020

I absolutely loved the whole experience available in this course! I've learned a lot, and I'm already beginning the second part! Great professor, thanks to all involved in the project!

By hezil k

Sep 28, 2017

wow i have enjoyed every single moment with the teacher , she was incredibly awesome and she had a way of explaining that made me really appreciating the whole topic and the course ♥

By Oscar A R A

Sep 11, 2020

Un curso muy completo y muy detallado sobre el pensamiento platónico inicial. Excelentes apartados para dar una buena dinámica al curso y una excelente docente conocedora del tema.

By Ademilton J D O

Jul 15, 2019

Para mim foi muito bom pois me deu oportunidade de estudar essa ciencia da qual eu amo muito que é a Filosofia muito obrigado e quando eu estiver com tempo quero pode fazer outros.

By J R P

Feb 15, 2019

This is a brilliant course. Professionally designed and very well structured. I have enjoyed it thoroughly and more importantly I have learnt significantly. I highly recommen