History of Ancient Philosophy

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Course Code: 
PHI 2104
Course Credit Units: 
Semester 1
Year of Study: 
Year 2
Undergraduate or Graduate Level: 
Undergraduate Level
Academic Programs: 
Course Discipline: 
Course Description & Objectives: 

The course considers the origin of Greek philosophy starting with the period of naturalism that addresses the cosmological question about the origin and the end of things.  It considers in particular the Ionians Thales, Anaximander and Anaximenes, the Pythagoreans with their mathematic-metaphysical explanations, Heraclitus with his emphasis on change and contrast, the Eleatic school with Parmenides stating the permanence of being, the Atomists prepared by Empedocles and Anaxagoras and represented by Leucippus and Democritus. The period of naturalism is concluded by the contribution of the Sophists.  The subsequent metaphysical period of the classical philosophers Socrates, Plato and Aristotle will be considered in some detail.  Ancient Greek philosophy ends with the ethical period and its schools of stoicism, Epicureanism, skepticism and eclecticism, finally phasing into Roman philosophy.  The course gives special consideration to the recent studies linking ancient Greek thought to Egypt and to the NileValley, shifting the origin of western philosophy and of modern thought to Africa.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Course Objective:

  • The course aims at equipping students with knowledge and a critical approach towards the historical development of philosophical inquiry.


Learning Outcomes: 

At the end of the course students should be able to:

  • discern the emergence of ancient philosophical thought
  • appreciate the role of historical epochs to shaping philosophical inquiry
  • Critically relate foundations of contemporary philosophical ideas in the proceeding philosophical ideas.
History of Ancient Philosophy
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