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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

PHIL2221 Ancient Philosophy

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Jamie Dow
Email: j.dow@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

Either PHIL1120, OR PHIL1111 & PHIL1222.

Module replaces

PHIL2430 and PHIL2440

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This course will introduce and critically examine some of the main ideas in the work of Plato and Aristotle. In his 'early' dialogues Plato examines moral questions raised by his tutor Socrates. In the middle and later dialogues Plato develops his moral and political views but also addresses methodological, epistemological, and metaphysical questions raised by those ethical investigations. Aristotle can be seen as exploring more systematically the strands that Plato points to, whether in metaphysics or ethics, epistemology or philosophy of mind. Both sought to develop a framework within which it was possible to have knowledge of, and explain, the external world, and the place of human beings within it.Topic themes may include:1. Platonic Forms and Aristotelian Form and Matter: change, form, matter, substance, accident, potentiality, actuality2. Nature, change, explanation: Platonic and Aristotelian theories of explanation, the Form of the Good and natural teleology 3. Dialectic and method in metaphysics 4. Knowledge, belief, and understanding5. Human nature: ensouled bodies6. Perception and motivation; desires, beliefs and actions.7. Methodology in Ethics and Politics8. The nature and importance of virtue, and how it is acquired.9. Moral psychology, intentional action, choice and weakness of will.10. Justice in individuals and states.

Objectives

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

a) read and consider selected works of Plato and Aristotle (and other material) in a sensitive yet critical manner -- that is, to establish what is important in what they read, and to grasp the power of the views expressed, whilst at the same time thinking out problems for those views;

b) develop their own views on the main topics running through the course, considering how those views relate to, build upon, or reject the ideas that they locate in reading the works of Plato and Aristotle; and

c) have developed their skills in:
i) reading;
ii) writing;
iii) thinking; and
iv) oral presentations.

Syllabus

The central aim of this course is to introduce and critically examine some of the main ideas in the work of Plato and Aristotle. Thus themes may include selected topics from, for example, their approach to methodological, epistemological, and metaphysical questions, and their views in philosophy of mind and action, ethics, political philosophy. Topics might include, for example, Plato on dialectic, definition, knowledge, belief, recollection, forms, explanation, motivation, virtue, acrasia, justice, happiness; and Aristotle on nature, change, substance, essence, form, matter, explanation, natural teleology, ensouled bodies, perception, motivation, human nature, virtue, and happiness. The basic objectives are twofold: to introduce some key Platonic and Aristotelian views, both central to their works and of importance for the subsequent development of philosophy; and to enable students to develop their own ideas on the issues discussed.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Lecture111.0011.00
Seminar112.0022.00
Private study hours167.00
Total Contact hours33.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Preparation for seminars: 109 hours;
Seminar revision notes: 8 hours;
Revision for exam: 50 hours.
(The seminar strategy is partly peer-learning, and partly tutor led, so please note that the seminar tutor is not in for the whole of the 2-hour seminar. There is 40 mins of structured group work at the start of that seminar, then 80 mins of tutor-led resentations/discussions).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

1. Seminar presentations x 1: 5-7 minutes;
2. Revision notes x 1: 4-6 pages.

Methods of assessment


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course AssessmentSeminar Performance20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)20.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated


Exams
Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)3 hr 00 mins80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)80.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/07/2017

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