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

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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


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.


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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226 - 250 of 442 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Mary S

Jun 14, 2017

Fascinating and explained very clearly. The professor is excellent.

By Eshwar K

Apr 11, 2021

I like the way you guys are designed the program Thanks to Coursera


Jun 1, 2020

It is a great course. Keeps you thinking and looking to go further.

By Ilya K

Mar 10, 2016

One of the best structured intro course on Plato and pre-socratics.

By yohana a

Apr 16, 2021

Excellent course, great teacher and material. Highly recommended!!


Oct 1, 2020

Muy buen curso, excelente profesora. Es claro y logra profundidad.

By michelle

May 2, 2020

Really interesting, the lectures were calm and enjoyable, thanks

By Vinicius S

Apr 23, 2018

Is Great, step by step i learn more and more without this course.

By Kenny S

Feb 2, 2018

Awesome Instructor added to my knowledge in Philosophy.Thank you.

By Don C

Mar 1, 2021

An introductory course that will awaken your philosophical mind.

By Anna,Androvitsanea

Aug 11, 2016

An excellent introduction to the world of Plato and its origins.

By Dieter P

Dec 13, 2020

Content, structure and delivery of this course are outstanding.

By Armida S

Jun 18, 2020

It was sufficiently comprehensive for a complex period of time.

By Garry S

May 1, 2019

Fantastic course. Great content. Just what I was looking for!

By Aliasger S

Jun 18, 2023

the course is made very easy with analogies and presentations.

By Deleted A

May 3, 2021

It's very interesting. I sure I will continue with Aristotle.

By Stephen W

Mar 8, 2017

Wonderful course! Can't wait to start Part 2 of the series...

By Angelo G M B

Oct 8, 2020

Me pareció fascinante, sorprendente y totalmente apasionante

By Ola K

Oct 22, 2017

This is the foundation to most, if not all, modern thinking.

By Arijit D

Apr 2, 2016

Excellent course, a brief survey of pre-Socratic philosophy.

By Sabrina M

May 13, 2021

This course is very good and the teacher is clear and nice.

By David M H Q

Nov 14, 2020

Ha sido un curso estupendo, deseando de empezar el segundo.

By Amy X

Aug 7, 2020

this course is a great gift for the world that is in crisis

By Vivek C S

Mar 29, 2016

Very well delivered and an Enriching learning experience...

By Warren D W

Oct 9, 2021

Enlightening to say the least. Challenging but rewarding!