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Module descriptions

7AAN2024 Greek Philosophical Texts II: Aristotle


Credit value: 20
Module tutor: Dr Will Rasmussen

  • Formative assessment: weekly translation exercises, with a philosophical commentary; plus one 2,000-word formative essay, viz. a translation and philosophical commentary on a passage of approximately 15 lines
  • Summative assessment: one two-hour end of year examination, viz. translation and philosophical commentary on two passages of approximately 15 lines

Teaching pattern:one weekly two-hour lecture/seminar.

  • This module presupposes that students will have already studied the ancient Greek language for at least one year 
Sample syllabus: Please see the Past syllabi section below for an indication of the syllabus for this module.
Additional information:
  • Although it is not strictly required, students who wish to take this module are very strongly encouraged to do so in conjunction with 7AAN2023 Greek Philosophical Texts I: Plato in the first semester
  • Opting to take these modules will preclude students from taking modules outside the Philosophy Department, including the external language modules that students in the MA History of Philosophy programme would normally be taking: this is treated as an alternative way of satisfying that language requirement  
  • The lectures/seminars will be shared with students taking 6AANB041 Greek Philosophical Texts II: Aristotle, although in other respects they may be subject to different requirements.

This module is intended for students who have studied ancient Greek for at least one year, and who wish to gain experience in the close examination of the works of Aristotle in the original language. Each week the students prepare a translation and a brief philosophical commentary on that week’s portion of the set text. The emphasis is upon the student’s own critical engagement with both the language and philosophical content of the text, primarily as an independent work, but also within its philosophical, historical and cultural contexts. To facilitate this, grammatical explanation of the Greek is offered whenever needed, and secondary literature is used to only to stimulate this ‘student-centred’ discussion. In this way, the students are assisted in penetrating and elaborating the meaning of this text further than the study of it merely in translation could achieve.

Further information

Module aims

The aim is to develop the skill of careful textual translation and exegesis that is sensitive to the nuances of language, the strategies of argumentation and the author’s dialectical encounters with his contemporaries and predecessors. Students will also hone their skills in articulating, defending and critiquing various interpretations of the texts, as they present and discuss their assessment of each week’s assignment. This exercise in close textual work will assist the students’ work in other areas of philosophy by strengthening their ability to discern and evaluate what they read and discuss.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, the students will be able to demonstrate intellectual, transferable and practicable skills appropriate to a level-7 module and in particular will be able to demonstrate that they have:

  • a capacity to acquire a firm grasp of the philosophical content of ancient Greek texts in the original language
  • an ability to ascertain the significance of works within their philosophical, historical and cultural background
  • skill in the careful analysis of language and argument as a means of exposition, as an instrument of refutation and as a dialectical process of engaging with other philosophers
  • a critical appreciation of the foundational roles played by the set texts in respect of ensuing philosophical developments in the West 
Past syllabi

7AAN2024 module syllabus 2012-13 (pdf) 
7AAN2024 module syllabus 2013-14 (pdf)
7AAN2024 module syllabus 2014-15

Please note that module syllabus and topics covered may vary from year to year.

The modules run in each academic year are subject to change in line with staff availability and student demand so there is no guarantee every module will run. Module descriptions and information may vary depending between years.

module availability
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