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

4.8
stars
1,194 ratings
353 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 346 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

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 Chris K

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 P

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 Javier R

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

By Alison O

Oct 28, 2018

Although I do not have the time (or inclination, I guess) to write answers to the provocative questions, I found the lectures and the reading material fascinating. Thank you!

By Langlen C

May 15, 2020

Its short duration course but so much new knowledge and conceptual. Really like the way of Socrates quesionning and moreover their analysis arguement is whole new best ever.

By Nickson U

Sep 4, 2020

I really like this course, because it is well structured and explained to the point which made it easy to understand Socrates and his interlocutors many complex dialogues.

By David Y

Jun 2, 2017

Insightful and informative course. Prof Meyer has managed to break down difficult concepts into simple, bite-sized knowledge for any lay person to understand effectively.

By François S

Aug 25, 2017

Good, interesting introduction to the cosmology and ethics of Plato and presocratic thinkers. The reading material is good and the lectures are pleasant and interesting!

By Camilo A G R

Feb 28, 2016

The course give us an excellent understanding of Ancient philosophers's thoughts with clear explanations and all this is made with an extraodinary order and conciseness.

By Dimitris S

Jan 18, 2019

Absolutely marvelous Dr Meyer proved that philosophy is not a task for idle thinkers but the mean to face everyday practises under the right perspective and hierarchy.

By Akhilesh S

Mar 12, 2018

If you love Philosophy and antiquity, this is the course for you. It lays down a foundation of Western philosophy, parts of which are still so relevant in the society.

By skuiy

Jan 5, 2020

Thank a lot to the teacher . I felt very lucky to have the oportunity to learn so much about this subject . This course makes me think , learn and improve my english.

By Leo B

Aug 29, 2019

A clear and thorough introduction by Susan Meyer. I have enough information as a result to know how little information I have, and look forward to taking Part II!