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

1,480 ratings

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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251 - 275 of 442 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Alexandru T

Apr 21, 2020

Wonderful introduction to the world of ancient philosophy!

By Natalia G

Mar 21, 2019

Clear course to get introduced into ancient philosophers.

By Matias J

Apr 25, 2020

An amazing trip throughout the ancient greek philosophy.

By Rene M

Sep 30, 2022

Great lectures! This course gave me great knowledge!!!

By Warley R

Oct 30, 2016

Great course, excellent curriculum and teaching method.

By Najib A A A A

Aug 12, 2020

This course is very important to understand the living


Jun 9, 2020

Very wholesome experience studying Ancient Philosophy!

By Jary v B

Mar 7, 2016

Excellent teacher. Great introduction into philosophy.

By Steffen W

May 29, 2020

fantastic course, very well explained and structured!

By Juvenal N

Apr 23, 2020

Excellent course and tutor! Highly recommended! AAA++

By Jacob

Oct 24, 2019

Very well spoken outline of Greek philosophy. Thanks.

By Priya B

Aug 2, 2020

Excellent content and very well explained/delivered.

By Andrew F

Jun 29, 2020

Wonderful explication of Plato and his predecessors.

By Callie G

May 4, 2020

Well-articulated lectures, and good reading material

By Vilmos F

Apr 30, 2020

It made things very easy to understand and exciting.

By Achyuth N

Aug 26, 2020

It certainly increased my curiosity in this matter.

By Paul A A

Sep 15, 2019

Well done. A little superficial, but a great start.

By Gustavo A G A

May 15, 2017

Buena maestra, gran contenido y muy bien explicado.

By Gladson S

Jan 2, 2024

Curso maravilhoso. Eu tive um encontro com Platão!

By George J B

May 15, 2016

Excellent delivery of rather interesting material!

By Itamar F

Feb 13, 2021

Excellent! Loved the lectures by professor Susan.

By Valentina P M

May 25, 2020

Pretty good explanations and methods of teaching.

By Julio C R C

Aug 25, 2020

Me parece excelente los contenidos de este curso

By Georgina M M

Jun 19, 2017

Thoroughly enjoyable. Great course! Thank you.

By Shana R

May 18, 2020

Good content to use for my lSAC exam. Thank you