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Ancient World: Greek Philosophy (CLA2507)

StaffDr Gabriele Galluzzo - Convenor
Credit Value15
ECTS Value7.5
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

  • To explore key issues of ancient Greek philosophy, including the nature and origins of philosophy and the fundamental values of a human life.
  • To analyse, evaluate and use ancient Greek philosophical texts by the Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle – as well as modern scholarly discussions – as sources for understanding Greek philosophy.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate a broad and detailed knowledge of key features of Greek philosophy
  • 2. Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of some important Platonic and Aristotelian discussions of ethical ideas
  • 3. Use the sources to examine and engage critically with a set of key issues and debates in Greek philosophy

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of both the historical and the philosophical issues raised by ancient philosophical texts
  • 5. Develop advanced academic and library skills specific to Classics and Ancient History as well as a critical ability in assessing selected texts on Greek philosophy

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Demonstrate advanced independent study skills in research and presentation of findings
  • 7. Select and organise relevant material and present a strong argument in coherent written form

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The start of Western philosophy, the Presocratics.
  • Socrates, philosophical method, thought on the community and its values.
  • Plato: his thought on human desires and aspiration, body and soul, humanity and immortality.
  • Aristotle: on ethics, friendship, virtue, and happiness

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching22Lectures (11 x 2 hours)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching4Seminars (4 x 1 hour)
Guided Independent Study124Independent study

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Text and problem analysis (in groups)1 hour1-4Oral feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 702000 words1-7Mark and written comments
Gobbet test301 hour1-7Mark and written comments

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay Essay 1-7Referral/Deferral period
Gobbet testGobbet test1-7Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Core Set Texts:

  • Plato, The Last Days of Socrates (Penguin Classics).
  • Plato, Symposium (Penguin Classics) Aristotle, Ethics (Penguin Classics).
  • R. Waterfield, The First Philosophers: The Presocratics and the Sophists, translated with introduction and notes (Oxford World's Classics, 2000).

Other Recommended Reading:

  • J. Annas, Ancient Philosophy: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2000).
  • C. Gill, Greek Thought. Greece and Rome New Surveys in the Classics (Oxford University Press, 1995).
  • M.L.Gill, P.Pellegrni (eds.), A Companion to Ancient Philosophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009).
  • D. Sedley, Cambridge Companion to Greek and Roman Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2003).
  • R. Wardy, Doing Greek Philosophy (Routledge, 2005).

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Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

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Key words search

Classics, Greek, Philosophy, ethics