PHIL130N: Honors Ancient Greek Philosophy

Class Program
Class Hours 3 Lab Hours 0 Credits 3

The main objective of this course is to develop students' understanding of ancient Greek philosophy by examining in depth the work of its three major representatives: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Attention will be given both to the social and historical context in which the ideas of these thinkers arose and to the influence of their ideas across the Western world over the course of history. The course will help the student develop a sense of the intrinsic value of these classical modes of thought for her or his own ethical development as well as to the development of later civilizations. After all, Athenian social life was as fraught as any contemporary society with tensions between truth and deception, virtue and moral relativism, and ethics and self-centered ness. Understanding how the ideas of the classical philosophers evolved in response to these tensions will help students link the relevance of their ideas to the development of individual and social values at almost any point in history. Students will be encouraged to make connections between past and present through exploration of three fundamental questions: What does it mean to live a good life? What is the difference between knowledge and belief? What is an ideal society, and what roles should various groups have within it?

Prerequisite or Corequisite

ENGL110N or ENGL101N and permission of the Honors Program Coordinator or Admissions into the Honors Program.


This course fulfills a General Education Core Requirement: Humanities/ Fine Arts.