Ancient Greek Philosophy (PHIL*2140) | College of Arts

Ancient Greek Philosophy (PHIL*2140)

Code and section: PHIL*2140*01

Term: Fall 2018

Instructor: John Russon


Ancient Athens produced the two philosophical thinkers that tower over all who came before and all who came after: Plato (c.427-c.347 B.C.) and Aristotle (384-322 B.C.).  These thinkers, from the period of the flourishing of ancient Greek culture, effectively invented the practice of philosophy that has shaped and transformed Western culture and, indeed, world-culture.  The Greek philosophers were especially concerned with describing accurately the nature of reality, and then trying to understand the place of the human being within reality.  We will read major texts by Plato and Aristotle on the nature of reality, the nature of knowledge, ethics and politics, contextualized by other writings by ancient writers.

Course Outline

The University of Guelph resides on the land of the Between the Lakes Treaty No. 3, the territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit. This land is part of the Dish with One Spoon, a covenant between Indigenous nations to live peaceably on the territories of the Great Lakes region. We recognize that today this gathering place is home to many First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples and acknowledging them reminds us of our collective responsibility to the land where we learn, live and work.