History of Ancient Philosophy

Offered Fall 2002
Course Code: V83.0020-001
MW9:30-10:45 AM
Room: SILV 208

Instructor: Gary Ostertag
Office: 503-O Silver Center
Hours: W10:50 - 11:50 and by appointment

TA: Scott Darrel Morrison
Office: 503 Silver Center
Hours: M11-12 and by appointment

Site Contents:

Required Texts

Cooper (ed.), Plato: Complete Works (Hackett)
Fine and Irwin (eds.), Aristotle: Selections (Hackett)
Inwood and Gerson (eds.), The Epicurus Reader (Hackett)

Recommended Secondary Sources (on order)

Irwin, Classical Philosophy (Oxford)
Aristotle: The Desire to Understand (Cambridge)


Wednesday, Sept. 4th:

Course structure. Overview of topics to be treated in course.

Monday, Sept 9 -
Wednesday, Sept 11:

Plato, Euthyphro

Monday, Sept 16 -
Wednesday, Sept 18:

Plato, Apology; Xenophon, Memorobilia

Monday, Sept. 23:

Plato, Crito

Wednesday, Sept 25 -
Wednesday, Oct 2:

Plato, Gorgias

Monday, Oct 7 -
Monday, Oct 14:

Plato, Cratylus
Take-home mid term will be handed out 10/14; due 10/21

Wednesday, Oct 16 -
Monday, Oct 21:

Aristotle, Metaphysics, Books I, IV.1-2 (pp. 221-240, 244-250)

Wednesday, Oct 23 -
Wednesday, Oct 30:

Aristotle, Physics, Book II (pp. 95-119)

Monday, Nov 4 -
Monday, Nov 11:

Aristotle, Physics, Books I (esp. I.7-8), III (pp. 83-95, 120-126)

Wednesday, Nov 13 -
Monday, Nov 20:

Aristotle, De Anima, Books I (esp. I.1-2), II.1-6, 11-12 (pp. 169-176, 176-184)

Monday, Nov 25 -
Wednesday, Nov 27:

(Possibly) Aristotle, De Interpretatione, Book I.9, 12-13 (pp. 17-28)
(We may need these sessions to cover previous assignments.)

Monday, Dec 1 -
Monday, Dec 9:

Epicurus, selections TBA

Course Description

The course provides an introduction to central themes in Ancient Philosophy, focusing on close examination of some of the philosophical views of Socrates (by way of Plato's early dialogues and, time permitting, Xenophon's writings), Plato, Aristotle and Epicurus.


Evaluation will be based upon mid-term and final take-home exams. Students should also prepare five questions for each reading assignment and should be prepared to present these questions (verbally) to the class if requested.


Any work that is submitted as your own but written in whole or in part by someone else counts as plagiarism. Plagiarism results in an F for the course and is subject to further disciplinary action.

Bobst Reference Resources

Craig, Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Routledge)

Blackburn, Oxford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Oxford University Press)

Audi, Cambridge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Cambridge University Press)

On-Line Resources

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy