PHIL2316: Ancient Philosophy

Matthew M. Daude Laurents, Ph.D.

Course: phil2321.001-42333

MW 10:35-11:50 AM

RGC 125

Fall, 2009

Contact Information

Office Rio Grande Campus
Peach Street Office Building, Room 2-I
ACC email
Instructional email
Instructional Web

Instructional Office Hours

Monday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I
Tuesday 9:00 to 11:00 AM online (Windows Messenger or Blackboard)
Wednesday 9:00 to 10:30 AM RGC, Peach Street, 2-I

Other times by appointment

Course Description

Students will be introduced to Ancient Western Philosophy from the pre-Socratics through the Hellenists with emphasis on Plato and Aristotle.

Ancient Philosophy is intended for philosophy majors. Introduction to Philosophy (PHIL1301) is required for registration in Ancient Philosophy. A passing score or the equivalent on the reading and writing portions of skills assessment is also required.

Required Texts/Materials

Cohen, Curd, and Reeve. Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy. Second Edition (ISBN 087220538X)
Peterman, On Ancient Philosophy. (ISBN-13: 978-0-534-59572-2)

Handouts and additional readings will be posted to the instructional web.


Birkenstein and Graff. They Say/I Say: The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing (ISBN-13 9780393924091)

Instructional Methodology

The class will consist predominantly of discussion of the readings, led by me and by class members, including using of collaborative tools available in Blackboard. There may also be group work and group presentations to the class, which will be posted online.

The major forms of individual assessment will be writing assignments (essays, etc.). I may also use online forms to gather information about your progress in the coursework. Course assignments must be submitted by email or via the Blackboard classroom.

Course Rationale

Philosophy is one of the principal forces that have shaped Western civilization and history, so a deeper understanding of the methods, subjectmatter, and history of philosophy affords a deeper understanding of ourselves and an informed grasp of the present. In addition, critical thinking skills are so central to the methods of philosophy that the study of philosophy provides an excellent opportunity to learn and practice those skills in a focused way.

Course Objectives

Departmental Course Objectives

  1. Students will demonstrate improved critical reading, thinking, and writing skills.
  2. Students will be able to reason philosophically about issues of both personal and universal significance.
  3. Students will be able to identify major divisions and concepts in the history of philosophy.

Coursework and Grading Policy

Your grade for this course will be based on written and collaborative work demonstrating pursuit of the objectives of the course. (See the Coursework Guide for a more detailed explanation of the written work.)  These are the components of the course for grades up to a B:

Component Weight
Journal/participation 20%
Argument Summaries (4) 20%
Analytical Essays (2) 60%

To earn an A in the course, (1) you must submit a research essay of about 5 pages on a topic that you develop in consultation with me and (2) the essay grade must be an A. You must have an A average on the course components above to be eligible to submit the A essay

Please review the Grading and Evaluation page for a more detailed exposition of my approach to evaluation.

Due dates for written work will be arranged in class and posted on the main page for your course. Please note that I will not accept work after the stated due date, except by prior agreement. All written work done outside of class must be submitted by email or posted on the Blackboard site for our class. Please see the Orientation for further instructions.

I expect everyone to participate in class discussion. Class participation should be informed. By this I mean that everyone should participate after having read and thought about the assignments.

Course Policies


Review the Course Policies page and the policies set forth in the online Orientation. The Course Policies and the Orientation are to be considered part of this syllabus.

Course Outline

This is a very brief overview of the course content:

  1. Introduction: Why study the history of philosophy?
  2. The Pre-Socratics and the Sophists
  3. Socrates and Plato
  4. Aristotle
  5. Hellenistic Philosophy, Briefly
  6. Conclusions

Refer to the course calendar on Blackboard for a more detailed list of topics, reading assignments, and exercises. Check the course calendar frequently for due dates and other announcements.

Proceed to the Orientation.

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This page was last updated 12/28/2009 10:20:52 PM.