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

1,485 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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276 - 300 of 443 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors


Feb 18, 2016

Interesting, well taught, and enjoyable course!

By Kazumasa S

Apr 13, 2016

Well produced videos and informative lectures.

By luz s r

May 28, 2020

I really liked the ancient philosophy course.

By cecilia l

Jan 18, 2017

Great course. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks.

By Emil

Dec 29, 2020

Very interesting for an introductory course.

By yodhin a

Jun 13, 2020

i really enjoyed learning about these things

By Thomas O

Nov 2, 2016

Quick overview, but very interesting course.

By Sohini B

Feb 21, 2016

The lectures are excellent and interesting.


May 26, 2020

Concise videos and interesting reflections

By Carlos H

Feb 6, 2024

Aprendi muito. Obrigado pela oportunidade

By Pedro I d L S

Sep 23, 2021

Great and very didactic for a 1st course!

By Hercules C

Mar 10, 2021

Excellent! Well structured an presented.

By Maksim O

Mar 15, 2016

An excellent introduction for beginners!

By Fiona W

Nov 4, 2019

I liked everything but the maths parts!

By Greg V

Apr 26, 2016

amazing course , really enjoying this !

By Raquel E

May 15, 2020

Philosophy is logic. Logic is needed!


May 7, 2024

Excelente, pero no dan el certificado

By Constantinos K

Jun 28, 2016

Very interesting and helpful subject.

By Edgar M

Oct 16, 2022

marvelous! thanks to teacher Susan.

By Mariano C

May 7, 2021

Thanks a lot. I want be phiolosopher

By Laura M P

May 1, 2020

Excellent! Complete and interesting!

By Abdulmalik M M

Jul 9, 2016

Good. I've learned a lot. Thank you.

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!