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

1,265 ratings
382 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

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.

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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251 - 275 of 373 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Michelle A

Aug 19, 2020

What a fantastic course! Thank you.

By Shikha D

Jul 6, 2017

Awesome course! Highly recommended.

By Jean B C

Mar 15, 2016

Excellent course and really useful!

By Jibran T

Feb 25, 2016

Profound and thoroughly insightful.

By Theodore M

May 30, 2016

well structured and well presented

By Prashant S S

May 2, 2019

Very nice and informative course

By Joanna C

Oct 18, 2017

Well paced, interesting course

By Shirley K

Jul 30, 2020

such a fun course.! thank you

By Talha R

Sep 9, 2019

Amazing course, enlightening.

By Dragutin R

Oct 20, 2017

Just what I needed.

Thank you.

By Kuznichenko S

May 14, 2020

I am glad study this course!

By jennifer c

Feb 11, 2017

Engaging and well presented.


May 29, 2020

Muy buen curso, excelente

By Edwin K

Jul 13, 2016

Good introductory course.

By Nikolaos S

Feb 3, 2021

Very interesting course!

By Saikat B

Aug 8, 2019

Clear and comprehensive.

By Sumantra G

Nov 28, 2016

It's an awesome course

By Berke Y

Apr 26, 2020

thanks for everything

By Samuel S

May 12, 2018

Excellent instructor!

By Anastasia D D

Feb 25, 2016


By Megan B

Aug 1, 2020

Thank you, Dr Meyer!

By Barbara H

Jan 19, 2021

Excellent lectures!

By Felipe Z G

Jun 4, 2020

Excellent course!!!

By Francisco J J

Apr 10, 2016

Outstanding course!

By John V T

Jun 2, 2017

Outstanding Course