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

4.8
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1,315 ratings
397 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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126 - 150 of 393 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

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

By Germán K

May 17, 2019

Una muy buena experiencia para ordenar los conocimientos y profundizar las temáticas con la orientación de la profesora Susan Sauvé Meyer.

By Aimi I

May 9, 2016

very useful and helpful course. I know more about philosophy since taking this course, which is the objective. therefore it is successful.

By Eduardo O B

Jul 13, 2020

It has been a great experience, a first-rate teacher who helped me to think, to force myself to question ideas in a methodical way.

By Bruno I

May 3, 2020

I loved it! Great lectures and readings! I learned a lot about the pre socratics. Also, this course changed my vision about Plato.

By Matija K

Feb 15, 2017

Superb! Simple yet not simplistic. Nicely and clearly presented, with all the most important ideas covered. Perfect introduction.

By Heather S

Dec 29, 2020

Very informative, made the subject really easy to relate to.Professor was very personable and engaging, thanks for a fun class!

By Octavio P

May 4, 2020

Nice course, very pedagogical. Susan really masters the subjects and makes the lessons much easier than one would have thought.

By Susan S

Mar 9, 2020

At first I did not really want to learn about the Pre-Socratics, but I was really impressed by how the lectures hung together.

By Laura M

Jan 31, 2021

I truly enjoyed this course, it has helped my thinking process, and it has increased my curiosity about philosophy ever more.

By Laura V

Sep 1, 2020

The teacher's is very clear when explaining, I wold have love to have her as my teacher in highschool!. Love all the subjects

By Bruce F

Aug 10, 2020

Not only was the content - video and writing - compelling, I feel vey lucky to have had Susan Sauve Meyer as out instructor.

By Irakli P

Oct 31, 2016

Informative and well-presented. Even after having prior knowledge of the topic I found the lectures interesting to follow.

By John D

Mar 11, 2016

The best Coursera course I've taken thus far. Dr. Meyer is an excellent lecturer and the reading selections are excellent.

By Robert C C

Apr 1, 2019

Though I don't like doing peer-reviews or peer-reviewed assignments, overall this was an interesting course. Thank you.

By Daniel B

May 4, 2021

Me encantó la forma en la que se presenta el curso y la forma de hacer la última tarea también. Lo recomiendo al 100 %

By David O

Mar 16, 2016

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

By caroline s

Mar 20, 2021

Very in-depth, while still being concise and easy to understand. Susan Meyer is a great, engaging professor as well.

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 Stefanos M

Jan 17, 2021

Great lecturer with great background for stuff I should be knowing! I will definitely be back in the next course!

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!