AP/PHIL4030 3.0 A: Seminar in Ancient Philosophy
Calendar Description / Prerequisite / Co-Requisite
A close examination of an important work of one of the great ancient philosophers. Alternatively, the seminar may also focus on an important area or theme of ancient philosophy including, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and political theory. Prerequisite: At least nine credits in AP/PHIL courses, including AP/PHIL 2015 3.00.
Prof. J. Allen
Office Location: S445 Ross
Phone Number: (416) 736-2100 Ext 77541
Office Hours: Mondays 4:00pm – 5:30pm
Wednesdays by appointment between 1:00pm-2:00pm
Fridays, by appointment between 10:00am – 11:00am
Additional days and times are by appointment only.
In this course we will take a close look at some main doctrines in ancient moral and political philosophy. Related metaphysical and epistemological issues will also be addressed. Classical philosophy, expressed primarily in the Greek language spanned 1100 years, from approximately 550 B.C. to approximately A.D. 550. While Plato's and Aristotle's doctrines dominated during and subsequent to the 4th century B.C., the Neoplatonists and Peripetitics were challenged by the competing doctrines of the Hellenistic Philosophers (the Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics, and others) who struck out in new directions. Since ethical aims were both the starting point and end goal of the ancient philosophical enterprise, there are good historical reasons to focus our study on the substance and inter-relation of moral and political issues during this period. Furthermore, the late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen a resurgence of interest in virtue ethics amongst theorists who are increasingly dissatisfied with the seemingly insurmountable problems generated by deontological and consequentialist accounts of moral judgments and principles. Thus, our historical study of ancient ethics and related topics will be undertaken with an eye to the critical evaluation of the relevance or irrelevance of its principle tenets in regards to contemporary attempts to construct viable moral theories.
- Plato, Republic, Trans. G.M.A. Grube, Hackett Publishing, 1992
- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics. Trans. David Ross. O.U.P. 1980.
- Aristotle, The Politics, Trans. Ernest Barker, Oxford University Press.
- Epictetus, The Handbook (The Encheiridion), Trans. Nicholas P. White, Hackett
Publishing, 1983. 973-0-915145069-0
- The Epicurus Reader & Selected Writings and Testimonials. Trans. & Ed. Brad Inwood, Hackett Classics, 1994
- Later Greek and Roman Moral and Political philosophy. Reading Selections package (Stoicism, Epicureanism, The Academics, Plotinus) Course package.
- William D. Stephans, Stoic Ethics: Epictetus and Happiness as Freedom, Bloomsbury Academic, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-0826496089
- Stephen E. Rosenbaum, “Epicurean Moral Theory”, History of Philosophy Quarterly, University of Illinois Press, Vol. 13 No. 14 (Oct. 1996) 389-410
Each student is expected to read the assigned material for each class meeting. Specific reading assignments will be announced as we proceed.
Abstract length critical summary(1 page) (1) 10%
Short Critical Summaries of Readings (2) (18% each) 36%
( 6 succinct pages maximum )
In-class tests (2) (18% each) 36%
Class Participation 18%
DEADLINES: Critical summaries of scheduled readings are due at the beginning of class, on the date due, as outlined below. Anyone who misses a critical summary deadline will have to complete a make-up assignment. (See below)
ASSIGNMENT #1 (Everyone) Monday, Oct. 7th
ASSIGNMENT #2 (A-L) Monday, Oct. 28th
ASSIGNMENT #2 (M-Z) Monday, Nov. 4th
ASSIGNMENT #3 (A-L) Monday, Nov. 18th
ASSIGNMENT #3 (M-Z) Monday, Nov. 25th
(ASSIGNMENT DETAILS WILL BE ANNOUNCED
This is a seminar course which meets for 3 hours on Mondays from 11:30 -2:30 in HNE 206. We will typically take a 20 minute break at the half way point.
- Academic Honesty
- Student Rights and Responsibilities
- Religious Observance
- Grading Scheme and Feedback
- 20% Rule
No examinations or tests collectively worth more than 20% of the final grade in a course will be given during the final 14 calendar days of classes in a term. The exceptions to the rule are classes which regularly meet Friday evenings or on Saturday and/or Sunday at any time, and courses offered in the compressed summer terms.
- Academic Accommodation for Students with Disabilities