10248 Greek Philosophy: Thales to Aristotle
Credits: 6 intermediate credits in Philosophy
The course traces the development of Greek philosophy from its early beginnings through Aristotle. It aims to acquaint students with the central texts and ideas of Greek philosophy and to instill a basic understanding of their importance in defining problems and presenting solutions offered in Western philosophy to the present day. Fragments from Pre-Socratic philosophers, dialogues of Plato (in their entirety or selected chapters) and selected chapters from Aristotle’s works are read and analyzed. The materials include The History of Greek Philosophy: The Pre-Socratic Philosophers, by S. Scolnicov (Yahdav, 1981, Hebrew).
Topics: The beginnings of Greek philosophy, the Milesians and the Pythagoreans; Heraclitus and Parmenides; The Pluralists and the Sophists; Socrates – his life and death, character and ideas (selected readings from the dialogues “Apology,” “Euthyphro,” “Gorgias,” “Protagoras” and “Meno”); Plato – theory of the soul, theory of cognition and metaphysics (selected readings from the dialogues “Phaedo,” “Symposium,” “The Republic,” “Phaedrus”), theory of the State (selected readings from “The Republic”), late theory of cognition and metaphysics (selected readings from the dialogues “Theaetetus,” “Parmenides” and “The Sophist”); Aristotle – philosophy of nature (selected readings from Physics and On the Soul), metaphysics (selected readings from Metaphysics I, III, VII, XI), ethics and the theory of the State (selected readings from Nicomachean Ethics and Politics).