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Ancient Philosophy

What is philosophy? How does it differ from science, religion, and other modes of human discourse? This course traces the origins of philosophy in the Western tradition in the thinkers of Ancient Greece. We begin with the Presocratic natural philosophers who were active in Ionia in the 6th century BCE and are also credited with being the first scientists. Thales, Anaximander, and Anaximines made bold proposals about the ultimate constituents of reality, while Heraclitus insisted that there is an underlying order to the changing world. Parmenides of Elea formulated a powerful objection to all these proposals, while later Greek theorists (such as Anaxagoras and the atomist Democritus) attempted to answer that objection. In fifth-century Athens, Socrates insisted on the importance of the fundamental ethical question—“How shall I live?”—and his pupil, Plato, and Plato’s pupil, Aristotle, developed elaborate philosophical systems to explain the nature of reality, knowledge, and human happiness. After the death of Aristotle, in the Hellenistic period, Epicureans and Stoics developed and transformed that earlier tradition. We will study the major doctrines of all these thinkers. Part I will cover Plato and his predecessors. Part II will cover Aristotle and his successors.

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Rating 4.7 based on 231 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Starts Jun 28 (23 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
Instructor Susan Sauvé Meyer
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags History Arts And Humanities Philosophy

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What people are saying

very interesting

This course covers a lot of very interesting material and is presented in a calm, clear, organized manner.

Very interesting , well designed and presented, introductory course very helpfull and atractive course, lots of information and access to material to help understand it.

This is a very interesting and complete course.

good Quick overview, but very interesting course.

Very interesting and challenging.

Very interesting and helpful subject.

Very interesting and well structure course.

VERY VERY INTERESTING Profound and thoroughly insightful.

good choise Very interesting but some parts too solid.Many Thanks.

The material was familiar to me but still very interesting.

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ancient philosophy

Well paced, interesting course In ancient philosophy you will learn who asked the 'big' questions.

This is a great introduction to Ancient philosophy for all of those who want to obtain more knowledge about the invaluable legacy of the Greek miracle !

Am interested in taking more MOOC like this in philosophy.Enjoyed week 2, looking forward to week 3 and starting Ancient Philosophy: Aristotle and His Successors.

Great introduction to ancient philosophy.

A wonderful introduction to ancient philosophy of Greece !

Compared to another ancient philosophy course offered on Coursera, I couldn't help but wonder if some topics could have been more elaborated.

This course provided an excellent introduction to the world of ancient philosophy.

It really did what I wanted, which was to provide me with a basic understanding of ancient philosophy.

The professor explains things well, and I found this a very good intro to ancient philosophy.

Thanks & greetings from Spain / Antonia I was always wanted to know things on Ancient Philosophy, This course has an over all understanding for Plato's work and his students with their different prospective on him and his philosophy.

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easy to understand

It was well organized, the instructor was easy to understand and explained things clearly, and the discussion questions helped nudge students to talk about some of the main ideas in each section.

The course instructor makes the material concise,easy to understand and interesting.

She does an amazing job explaining the more complex ideas and concepts in a way that is clear and very easy to understand.

The in-depth expertise here is for you so well and easy to understand, for that reason I'm super grateful for Coursera and the teacher on mine.

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recommend this course

I would not recommend this course to anyone with any formal background in philosophy, as the pace is somewhat slow, and the course spends a lot of time covering some basics of philosophy.

I'd recommend this course as a gentle introduction to early Greek Philosophy.

I would recommend this course to everyone.

If you want to learn about the history of philosophy from a very competent professor, I recommend this course to you!

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well presented

Liked it a lot: pretty straight forward, nice introduction, although I missed a bit of a timeline (or figure of a timeline - I actually had this image from wikipedia always available: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pre-Socratic_philosophy#/media/File:Presocratic_graph.svg) Engaging and well presented.

Curse was clear, and well presented via Coursera.

Interesting material well presented.

Neat A good introduction to Ancient Greek Philosophy, though not as in depth as it could be everything is fine but the music before each lecture is so loud and annoying well structured and well presented this course it's exactly what I needed.

Well-organized and well presented.

Very good and well presented course.

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so much

I have learned so much about the real philosophy and how to put it to use!

But overall, I learned so much, and filled in so many gaps that I had forgotten along the way.

So much of what I think I know has been informed by these ancient Greek philosophers.I love that the course is also really hard - it has not been dumbed down for us.

I felt very lucky to have the oportunity to learn so much about this subject .

I really enjoyed this course and learned so much from it.

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professor meyer

The Professor is quite interesting and this is the second course I have taken under her lead Professor Meyer explained the ideas of the ancient philosophers very clearly.

Thank you Professor Meyer !

I highly recommen Excellent Course guide (Professor Meyer) and Materials.Very short but effective lectures.Its difficult to provide whole theme in short lectures but Professor has done this job fabulously.

I know the English translation of the text is hard to follow sometime, but Professor Meyer breaks it down wonderfully.

Again take this course, Professor Meyer is fantastic!

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but also

I was drawn to this course as a refresher, but also hoping to learn something new or gain a new perspective on material I had already read.

A very comprehensive and interactive course which is not only informative but also ensures that you question what you learn and encourages one to muse over the course content.

I feel that I better understand, not only Plato and his predecessors, but also Christian theology which was heavily based on Plato.

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Careers

An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile.

Professor of Philosophy Fellow $20k

Lecturer, Philosophy $44k

Professor of Philosophy 2 $54k

Graduate Instructor of Philosophy $55k

Adjunct Lecturer in Philosophy $59k

Philosophy $64k

Professor of Theology/Philosophy $86k

Senior Professor of Philosophy $90k

Professor of Philosophy Consultant $116k

Assitant Professor of Philosophy $121k

Associate Instructor of Philosophy $151k

President Professor of Philosophy $264k

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Rating 4.7 based on 231 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Starts Jun 28 (23 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
Instructor Susan Sauvé Meyer
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Humanities Art & Design
Tags History Arts And Humanities Philosophy

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