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

4.8
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1,195 ratings
354 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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126 - 150 of 346 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By David O

Mar 16, 2016

Very good and well presented course. Interesting concepts and materials. I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience.

By Engr H S

Jul 1, 2020

I am very happy about that course so this is first attempt for this kind of university specially from USA, so Cheers

By Wong W W

May 16, 2020

Could add more discussions of modern critics (such as the ones from Kierkegaard) on Platonic writings on Socrates.

By Sylvia H K

Jun 20, 2016

Very fine lectures on Plato and the visions of those philosophers that went before him. I've learned a lot of it.

By Astra A K

Jun 20, 2016

it was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!! This was a very well organized, well conceived course, i thoroughly enjoyed it!

By Lisa ( C

Feb 12, 2018

Excellent course. Broken into logical sections with great videos and tests to check your knowledge. Thank you!

By Caroline S d A

May 22, 2020

It was better than I expected. I've learned so much in these weeks and in a very simple way. Thanks Coursera!

By Rabeet T

Jul 9, 2020

Great Explanations! This course really helped me to start reading the original works of ancient philosophers

By Patrick K

Jun 9, 2017

Very enjoyable overview of PreSocratic thought and how it pertains to Plato's own works. Highly recommended!

By Diane N

Mar 6, 2016

Great course for the introduction of Socrates and all of the other great Philosophers, I enjoyed this class.

By Steven B

Jul 20, 2020

Interesting, but not too involved. One can get through the weeks material in a reasonable amount of time.

By Chew R

Jan 14, 2019

Delivery of course is very clear and concise and had a very enjoyable and insightful learning experience.

By Benson H

Aug 2, 2018

Beautifully organized, crystal clear, this is a phenomenal introduction to the Pre-Socratics and Plato.

By Andrea V

Dec 18, 2017

Excelente curso. Solo queda agregar la traducción en español y poder bajar las lecciones en pdf o html.

By Ferlin P

Feb 19, 2016

This course does a great job at supplementing my University studies. Really high quality intro content.

By Megan R

Apr 13, 2020

A great introduction of ancient philosophies. I like the instructor's explanations and lecture style.

By Jose A G R

Sep 15, 2017

very helpfull and atractive course, lots of information and access to material to help understand it.

By Alejandra T

May 19, 2020

Me encanto ya que comprendí cada tema y la manera de enseñanza es muy entendible para muchos gracias

By Areaba S

May 17, 2020

It was a wonderful journey of 4 weeks of learning.

Thanks to the Greek legends and Professor Susan.

By Yifei W

Aug 18, 2019

Really love this course! Very comprehensive coverage of Plato's theories and significant works. :)

By Oscar D

Jan 18, 2018

Beautiful course. It made me inquire about things like I never did before. I enjoyed It very much.

By Sajid K

Jun 17, 2020

I really enjoyed doing this course! Loved the way the instructor explained complex ideas simply.

By Monica B

Jun 1, 2020

I have learned a lot about Plato and the philosophers who came before him. Thank you very much!

By Eduardo S P

Mar 11, 2016

I really enjoyed this course, the topics were fascinating and the explanations were very clear.

By marc g

Apr 14, 2020

Very comprehensive yet digestible! I never felt bored and always thought that I was learning.