Modiwl VPR-2300:
Ancient Philosophy

Ffeithiau’r Modiwl

Rhedir gan School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credyd neu 10 Credyd ECTS

Semester 1

Trefnydd: Dr Toby Betenson

Amcanion cyffredinol

Philosophy began with what is now called ‘ancient philosophy’. This module introduces and provides a broad overview of ancient philosophy by looking at the thought of some exemplary ancient philosophers. Beginning with the ‘pre-Socratics’, we ask whether Achilles can catch a tortoise, whether horses would have gods that look like horses, and whether you can ever step in the same river twice. We then move on to Socrates (a philosopher so important that all philosophy prior to him is named as such), discussing the ‘Socratic method’, with a focus on his contributions to ethics (which remain at the forefront of moral philosophy to this day). We will cover the key features of the thought of both Plato and Aristotle, two philosophers who have in large part set the terms of all philosophical, scientific, and religious thought that came after them. Finally, we will cover the major Hellenistic philosophical schools of Epicureanism, Neo-Platonism, and Stoicism, focussing on the continued relevance that these ancient philosophies can have to our modern lives.

Cynnwys cwrs

This module provides a broad overview of, and introduction to, ancient philosophy in the Western tradition. It will cover, mainly in chronological order, the entirety of the ‘ancient’ philosophical era, beginning with the pre-Socratics, moving through Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and onwards to Stoicism, some key Roman philosophers, and Neo-Platonism. Emphasis will be put on the connections between ancient philosophy and later philosophical or religious developments, and on the influence that ancient philosophy has had on human thought generally. Historical narrative detail will be included where relevant (e.g., Socrates’ death, the Peloponnesian War, Aristotle and Alexander the Great, etc.) to provide context. Significant emphasis will be placed on the continued relevance that ancient philosophical schools can have for our modern lives, enabling us to overcome adversity and ‘live well’.

Meini Prawf


Shows some knowledge of key areas of the module with acceptable presentation of arguments.


Shows detailed knowledge of key areas covered in the module with the arguments presented in a logical and coherent way.


Shows comprehensive and very detailed understanding of the material covered in the module, with considerable analytic ability or originality.

Canlyniad dysgu

  1. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the major themes and thinkers of the ancient philosophical period.

  2. To demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the influence that ancient philosophy has had on the history of human thought.

  3. To analyse, research, and construct a sustained argument applicable to the content of this course.

Dulliau asesu

Math Enw Disgrifiad Pwysau

Strategaeth addysgu a dysgu

Lecture 22
Private study 178

Sgiliau Trosglwyddadwy

  • Llythrennedd - Medrusrwydd mewn darllen ac ysgrifennu drwy amrywiaeth o gyfryngau
  • Hunanreolaeth - Gallu gweithio mewn ffordd effeithlon, prydlon a threfnus. Gallu edrych ar ganlyniadau tasgau a digwyddiadau, a barnu lefelau o ansawdd a phwysigrwydd
  • Archwilio - Gallu ymchwilio ac ystyried dewisiadau eraill
  • Adalw gwybodaeth - Gallu mynd at wahanol ac amrywiol ffynonellau gwybodaeth
  • Sgiliau Rhyngbersonol - Gallu gofyn cwestiynau, gwrando'n astud ar atebion a'u harchwilio
  • Dadansoddi Beirniadol & Datrys Problem - Gallu dadelfennu a dadansoddi problemau neu sefyllfaoedd cymhleth. Gallu canfod atebion i broblemau drwy ddadansoddiadau ac archwilio posibiliadau
  • Cyflwyniad - Gallu cyflwyno gwybodaeth ac esboniadau yn glir i gynulleidfa. Trwy gyfryngau ysgrifenedig neu ar lafar yn glir a hyderus.
  • Dadl - Gallu cyflwyno, trafod a chyfiawnhau barn neu lwybr gweithredu, naill ai gydag unigolyn neu mewn grwˆp ehangach
  • Hunanymwybyddiaeth & Ystyried - Bod yn ymwybodol o'ch cryfderau, gwendidau, nodau ac amcanion eich hun. Gallu adolygu ,cloriannu a myfyrio'n rheolaidd ar eich perfformiad eich hun ac eraill.

Sgiliau pwnc penodol

  • Articulacy in identifying underlying issues in a wide variety of debates.
  • Precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex and controversial problems.
  • Sensitivity in interpretation of religious and philosophical texts drawn from a variety of ages and/or traditions.
  • Clarity and rigour in the critical assessment of arguments presented in such texts.
  • The ability to use and criticise specialised religious and philosophical terminology.
  • The ability to abstract and analyse arguments, and to identify flaws in them, such as false premises and invalid reasoning.
  • The ability to construct rationally persuasive arguments for or against specific religious and philosophical claims.
  • The ability to move between generalisation and appropriately detailed discussion, inventing or discovering examples to support or challenge a position, and distinguishing relevant and irrelevant considerations.
  • The ability to consider unfamiliar ideas and ways of thinking, and to examine critically presuppositions and methods within the disciplines of philosophy and religion.


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