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Level 4

4AANA001 Greek Philosophy I


Credit value: 15
Module tutor: Dr Katherine O'Reilly


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: 1 x 1,500 word essay


  • Summative assessment: 1 x 2-hour examination (100%)
  • Formative assessment: 1 x 1,500 word essay

Students are reassessed in the failed elements of assessment and by the same methods as the first attempt.

Teaching pattern: one two-hour weekly lecture and one one-hour weekly seminar over ten weeks.

Pre-requisites: none

This module offers an introduction to key thinkers and texts in Ancient Greek Philosophy.  We will begin by looking at some important  figures in Presocratic
philosophy and their treatment of epistemology, metaphysics and cosmology.
The main focus of the course will be on the metaphysics, epistemology and
psychology of Plato and Aristotle.  Key texts will be Plato’s ApologyMeno, and Phaedo, and Aristotle’s Physics and De Anima.  A fundamental part of studying Ancient Philosophy is the close reading and critical analysis of primary texts.  In order to develop the skills to do this, in the weekly seminar students will be required to analyse primary texts (in translation) covered in the lecture.

Further information

Module aims

To give an overview of the study of ancient philosophy and its methods, and introduce some of the its key texts and ideas.

Learning outcomes

The skill of closely reading classical philosophical texts (in translation); ability to engage critically and fruitfully with Plato’s and Aristotle’s difficult texts; becoming better at doing philosophy.

Past syllabi

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

Core reading

S.M. Cohen, P. Curd, and C.D.C. Reeve, eds., Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle, 5th ed. (Hackett Publishing 2016).


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 between years. 

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