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

4.8
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1,284 ratings
391 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.

MD
Jan 16, 2021

This was my first online course. In a crazy year, the flexibiilty to reset deadlines was much appreciated. I enjoyed the grading system, especially when your peers are from all around the world.

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101 - 125 of 383 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

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 Mary J M

Mar 12, 2021

Excellent and intensive material. Presentation and format are also excellent. The instructor is Superior! I really enjoyed this course and will take her next course.

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!

By Jairo G P

Nov 2, 2018

Adorei. Para mim, que sou brasileiro, as legendas em espanhol ajudaram muito. Conteúdo conciso e claro, abordando questões fundamentais sobre a matéria. Muito bom!

By IOANNA L

Jun 25, 2020

I think that this course is very useful, it helped me to understand better several issues related to the basic beliefs of the presocratic philosophers and Plato.

By Eduardo A D

Jun 24, 2020

I strongly recommend this course. It's A life changer! Ms. Meyer is a great Professor, and a wise person, she was able to create on me the hunger for knowledge.

By DAVID W

May 24, 2021

Succinct and to the point, this course provides the basics about Plato and the pre-Socrates in a straightforward and easily understandable manner. Well done!

By Marquitta F

May 25, 2020

I really enjoyed this class. It was definitely challenging and took the time that was recommended. Though confusing at times I learned a lot from this class.

By Bill D

Jun 30, 2018

Great Course, wonderful professor—highly recommend and I will be jumping on the second part of the this course soonest. Thank you for putting this togehter,.

By Abhijith J

Apr 29, 2021

This course helped to understand the initial thoughts of philosophy....as to what were the initial questions of philosophy and evoluation of those thoughts.

By Marcela C

Jan 30, 2019

Great teacher, it really captures the essence of the ancient philosophers and teaches you the general views in their different philosophical perspectives.

By Kate G

Sep 25, 2017

This course was written wonderfully, the lectures are clear & detailed - the curriculum is cohesive, sensible, and useful. Really great course & teacher.

By José P d F J

Apr 17, 2020

Dear,

I need that you correct my name in the certificate. I'm José Petrúcio de Farias Junior and no 'Farias Junior'. Please I wait for this. Thank you

By Rajeev J

May 17, 2020

I've been wanting to learn about philosophy for a very long time. This course allowed me to get a nice overview. Can't wait to take other courses!

By Tracy T

May 14, 2016

An excellent course introducing Platonic philosophy along with the ideas of his predecessors, such as Socrates. Well-organized and well presented.

By Carlos B

Feb 10, 2018

A unique and wonderful opportunity to learn about the basis of philosophical inquiry. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and talent teacher Susan.

By Roberto

Jun 29, 2020

Very interesting, useful and didactic. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn how to make better decisions in life or business.

By Ruben N S

Mar 14, 2016

I didn't have philosophy at school, this was my first serious contact with it, and I was amazed! Loved it from the first to the last lesson