24.200 | Fall 2004 | Undergraduate

Ancient Philosophy


Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 2 sessions / week, 1.5 hours / session


This course will acquaint the student with some of the ancient Greek contributions to the Western philosophical and scientific tradition. We will examine a broad range of central philosophical themes concerning: nature, law, justice, knowledge, virtue, happiness, and death. There will be a strong emphasis on analyses of arguments found in the texts.

Course Requirements

Weekly reading assignments will range from about 30-100 pages per week. It is essential that students read these assignments in preparation for class meetings. Attendance in class is required. A significant portion of the final grade will depend on active class participation.

There will be three 5-7 page papers due during the term. Paper topics will be distributed in advance. Papers must be on one of the listed topics unless an alternative topic is approved.

Students must participate in a “text analysis presentation” [TAP] twice during the term. In a TAP, pairs of students are assigned a paragraph of text and are responsible for presenting an interpretation of the passage to the class, together with several follow-up discussion questions. Normally TAPs will occur on Wednesdays, though Mondays may be added to accommodate everyone. Sign-up for TAPs will begin during the first class.

There is no final exam for this course.


The student’s final grade will be based on written work, class participation, and improvement over the term. Each essay will count approximately 25% of the final grade; the remaining 25% will depend on TAP presentations and class participation. Late papers will be graded down unless an extension is granted in advance of the due date (except, of course, in case of medical emergency).

Three Essays 25% each
TAP Presentations and Class Participation 25%

Course Info

As Taught In
Fall 2004
Learning Resource Types
Lecture Notes
Written Assignments