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

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1,369 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

AA

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.

NM

Jul 26, 2020

I have never studied Philosophy before at school or on my own, but Professor Meyer made it very clear, interesting and fascinating for me to understand. Following this course has been a pleasure!

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401 - 408 of 408 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Mrigank G

Jan 13, 2019

Content is interesting but the teaching style could be more engaging

By Mick H

Aug 30, 2016

Heavy going! Informative though - and an engaging teacher.

By McAteer

May 6, 2021

Try the Reason and Persuasion course instead

By jenny h

Oct 13, 2016

Initially, I was excited about this course, but I lost interest due to two things. First, while the beginning segments about how we know the Presocratics was great, the presentation of the early Milesians was shallow and did not deepen my understanding of their world and thought. Then, the section on Parmenides made me lose faith in the teacher - she presented his main ideas in such a way as to obscure his vision, which is of what we now call a multiverse, a world in which all things exist potentially. The best part of the course was that it made me seek out other writers about Parmenides.

By SAI P

Sep 2, 2019

can give a better explanation in simple term rather more reading content. But overall a good beginner course

By Adele V

Oct 2, 2020

Poor course. Bad teacher bad environment boring and uneducational videos. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about and she says things that simply aren’t true.

By Afsana A A

Jul 19, 2020

Am I not getting any certificate for completing this course or what?

By Plato 3

May 22, 2020

It is not useful.