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

4.8
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1,369 ratings
413 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

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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101 - 125 of 408 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Alejandra F M

Nov 2, 2020

I have never studied ancient philosophy before, but I really enjoyed this course. I thought the video lectures really explained the key ideas well. I will look forward to the second part.

By Bruna F

Jul 26, 2020

I absolutely loved the whole experience available in this course! I've learned a lot, and I'm already beginning the second part! Great professor, thanks to all involved in the project!

By Rey N

Jan 3, 2022

Me pareció un curso muy motivador, con una estructura clara pero flexible. Ideal para los tiempos de hoy donde necesitamos compatibilizar nuestro tiempos de trabajo con los estudios.

By hezil k

Sep 28, 2017

wow i have enjoyed every single moment with the teacher , she was incredibly awesome and she had a way of explaining that made me really appreciating the whole topic and the course ♥

By Oscar A R A

Sep 11, 2020

Un curso muy completo y muy detallado sobre el pensamiento platónico inicial. Excelentes apartados para dar una buena dinámica al curso y una excelente docente conocedora del tema.

By Ademilton J D O

Jul 15, 2019

Para mim foi muito bom pois me deu oportunidade de estudar essa ciencia da qual eu amo muito que é a Filosofia muito obrigado e quando eu estiver com tempo quero pode fazer outros.

By John W

Feb 14, 2022

Well-organized, very helpful videos with instructor commentary on readings. I also enjoyed the opportunity to read commentary / analysis of other students regarding the material.

By Sebastião d O

Dec 2, 2021

The course was very well conducted by Susan, who managed to cover very important aspects of the work of Plato and his predecessors. The course really lived up to my expectations!

By J R P

Feb 15, 2019

This is a brilliant course. Professionally designed and very well structured. I have enjoyed it thoroughly and more importantly I have learnt significantly. I highly recommen

By Alison O

Oct 28, 2018

Although I do not have the time (or inclination, I guess) to write answers to the provocative questions, I found the lectures and the reading material fascinating. Thank you!

By Langlen C

May 15, 2020

Its short duration course but so much new knowledge and conceptual. Really like the way of Socrates quesionning and moreover their analysis arguement is whole new best ever.

By Nickson U

Sep 4, 2020

I really like this course, because it is well structured and explained to the point which made it easy to understand Socrates and his interlocutors many complex dialogues.

By David Y

Jun 2, 2017

Insightful and informative course. Prof Meyer has managed to break down difficult concepts into simple, bite-sized knowledge for any lay person to understand effectively.

By François S

Aug 25, 2017

Good, interesting introduction to the cosmology and ethics of Plato and presocratic thinkers. The reading material is good and the lectures are pleasant and interesting!

By Camilo A G R

Feb 28, 2016

The course give us an excellent understanding of Ancient philosophers's thoughts with clear explanations and all this is made with an extraodinary order and conciseness.

By Dimitris S

Jan 18, 2019

Absolutely marvelous Dr Meyer proved that philosophy is not a task for idle thinkers but the mean to face everyday practises under the right perspective and hierarchy.

By Akhilesh S

Mar 12, 2018

If you love Philosophy and antiquity, this is the course for you. It lays down a foundation of Western philosophy, parts of which are still so relevant in the society.

By Janani S

Oct 27, 2021

Very informative and enlightening! I am amazed that everyone gets access to such a well put together course, free of cost (unless they want a certificate, of course)!

By skuiy

Jan 5, 2020

Thank a lot to the teacher . I felt very lucky to have the oportunity to learn so much about this subject . This course makes me think , learn and improve my english.

By Mary J M

Mar 12, 2021

Excellent and intensive material. Presentation and format are also excellent. The instructor is Superior! I really enjoyed this course and will take her next course.

By Leo B

Aug 29, 2019

A clear and thorough introduction by Susan Meyer. I have enough information as a result to know how little information I have, and look forward to taking Part II!

By Jairo G P

Nov 2, 2018

Adorei. Para mim, que sou brasileiro, as legendas em espanhol ajudaram muito. Conteúdo conciso e claro, abordando questões fundamentais sobre a matéria. Muito bom!

By IOANNA L

Jun 25, 2020

I think that this course is very useful, it helped me to understand better several issues related to the basic beliefs of the presocratic philosophers and Plato.

By Eduardo A D

Jun 24, 2020

I strongly recommend this course. It's A life changer! Ms. Meyer is a great Professor, and a wise person, she was able to create on me the hunger for knowledge.

By DAVID W

May 24, 2021

Succinct and to the point, this course provides the basics about Plato and the pre-Socrates in a straightforward and easily understandable manner. Well done!