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

4.8
stars
1,265 ratings
382 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.

LL
Mar 8, 2016

Good intro to early Greek philosophy. Dr Meyer has a simple and subtly humorous approach to the material. Dr Meyer makes the subject approachable so that the student wants to do further reading.

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126 - 150 of 373 Reviews for Ancient Philosophy: Plato & His Predecessors

By Matija K

Feb 15, 2017

Superb! Simple yet not simplistic. Nicely and clearly presented, with all the most important ideas covered. Perfect introduction.

By Heather S

Dec 29, 2020

Very informative, made the subject really easy to relate to.Professor was very personable and engaging, thanks for a fun class!

By Octavio P

May 4, 2020

Nice course, very pedagogical. Susan really masters the subjects and makes the lessons much easier than one would have thought.

By Susan S

Mar 9, 2020

At first I did not really want to learn about the Pre-Socratics, but I was really impressed by how the lectures hung together.

By Laura M

Jan 31, 2021

I truly enjoyed this course, it has helped my thinking process, and it has increased my curiosity about philosophy ever more.

By Laura V

Sep 1, 2020

The teacher's is very clear when explaining, I wold have love to have her as my teacher in highschool!. Love all the subjects

By Bruce F

Aug 10, 2020

Not only was the content - video and writing - compelling, I feel vey lucky to have had Susan Sauve Meyer as out instructor.

By Irakli P

Oct 31, 2016

Informative and well-presented. Even after having prior knowledge of the topic I found the lectures interesting to follow.

By John D

Mar 11, 2016

The best Coursera course I've taken thus far. Dr. Meyer is an excellent lecturer and the reading selections are excellent.

By Robert C C

Apr 1, 2019

Though I don't like doing peer-reviews or peer-reviewed assignments, overall this was an interesting course. Thank you.

By David O

Mar 16, 2016

Very good and well presented course. Interesting concepts and materials. I thoroughly enjoyed the learning experience.

By caroline s

Mar 20, 2021

Very in-depth, while still being concise and easy to understand. Susan Meyer is a great, engaging professor as well.

By Engr H S

Jul 1, 2020

I am very happy about that course so this is first attempt for this kind of university specially from USA, so Cheers

By Wong W W

May 16, 2020

Could add more discussions of modern critics (such as the ones from Kierkegaard) on Platonic writings on Socrates.

By Stefanos M

Jan 17, 2021

Great lecturer with great background for stuff I should be knowing! I will definitely be back in the next course!

By Sylvia H K

Jun 20, 2016

Very fine lectures on Plato and the visions of those philosophers that went before him. I've learned a lot of it.

By Astra A K

Jun 20, 2016

it was absolutely DELICIOUS!!!!! This was a very well organized, well conceived course, i thoroughly enjoyed it!

By Lisa ( C

Feb 12, 2018

Excellent course. Broken into logical sections with great videos and tests to check your knowledge. Thank you!

By Caroline S d A

May 22, 2020

It was better than I expected. I've learned so much in these weeks and in a very simple way. Thanks Coursera!

By Rabeet T

Jul 9, 2020

Great Explanations! This course really helped me to start reading the original works of ancient philosophers

By Patrick K

Jun 9, 2017

Very enjoyable overview of PreSocratic thought and how it pertains to Plato's own works. Highly recommended!

By Diane N

Mar 6, 2016

Great course for the introduction of Socrates and all of the other great Philosophers, I enjoyed this class.

By Steven B

Jul 20, 2020

Interesting, but not too involved. One can get through the weeks material in a reasonable amount of time.

By Chew R

Jan 14, 2019

Delivery of course is very clear and concise and had a very enjoyable and insightful learning experience.

By Benson H

Aug 2, 2018

Beautifully organized, crystal clear, this is a phenomenal introduction to the Pre-Socratics and Plato.