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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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326 - 350 of 443 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

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

By Felipe V R

Jun 9, 2016

Muito Bom o curso!


May 8, 2016

more than great!!!

By Charlene K

Jan 17, 2023

excellent course.

By An H T

Sep 2, 2021

Simply the best!


Jun 8, 2020

Great experience.

By Carlos M G

Mar 16, 2019

Excellent teacher

By Abubakar D

Jun 9, 2017

Excellent course!

By Muhammad F

Apr 4, 2024

Wonderful Course

By karl h

Jan 2, 2024

very informative

By Miriam G P d A

Sep 13, 2022

excelente curso


Dec 29, 2020

Excelente curso.

By Arturo C

May 27, 2020

A great teacher!

By Kacper “ G

Sep 28, 2019

Excellent course

By Jaffar H

May 17, 2016

Excellent Course

By Issa K

Jul 2, 2020

Awesome Course!

By Emanuele S

May 3, 2020

Amazing Course!

By Alvaro F

Mar 23, 2019

Very good class

By 李晨竞

Mar 26, 2016


By Deleted A

Oct 26, 2020

great course