Ancient Greek Philosophy

Apollo's Temple at Delphi
Delphi, photo by C. Freeland

Philosophy 201, Fall 1996

9:25-10:40 a.m., Tu Th, 207A Sewall Hall

Note: This course was taught at Rice University in fall 1996; another version was taught by Professor Donald Morrison in fall 1997. You can find his fall 1997 syllabus here. This website is maintained as a record and a reference for scholars and students. Dr. Freeland's current course in ancient philosophy at the the University of Houston (Spring 1998) can be found here.

Dr. Cynthia Freeland



This course is an advanced survey of ancient Greek philosophy from the presocratic period through to the Hellenistic period, focusing on the development of Greek views of the cosmos, the soul, and the virtuous life.

Textbooks (Required)

Ancient Greek Philosophy, from Thales to Aristotle, Edited by S. Marc Cohen, Patricia Curd, and C.D.C. Reeve (Hackett 1995)

Hellenistic Philosophy: Introductory Readings, Translated by Brad Inwood and L.P. Gerson (Hackett 1988)

See also:

Ancient Philosophy Web Pages, located at

On-Line Resource Texts in Ancient Philosophy

Course Plan

The course will be divided into four units as follows:

Unit I The Presocratics

Unit II Plato

Unit III Aristotle

Unit IV Hellenistic Philosophy

Units I and IV are short units, and Units II and III are long units.


The Presocratics



Hellenistic Philosophy

Other Interesting On-Line Resource

Meet your classmates on the Web

Cynthia Freeland's Graduate Seminar in Ancient Science

Ancient Philosophy, taught by Prof. S. Marc Cohen, U. of Washington (includes bibliographies and lecture notes)

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

The Interpreting Ancient Manuscripts Web

Cultural Map of Hellas (Greece) (Includes search engines for regions and histories)

History and Philosophy of Ancient Astronomy

A gallery of Greek Philosophers' Portraits

Some helpful course outlines on ancient Greek history

The Ancient City of Athens (With interesting photographs)

Ancient Cultures: Greece


a. There will be a take-home essay exam on each unit. The short unit exams will have one essay question, and the long unit exams will have two questions. Each question should be answered in an essay that is 3-5 pages long.

b. There will be other short summary papers and in-class discussion assignments, at the instructor's discretion.


a. The exams will be 80% of the final grade.

b. The summaries and in-class discussions will be 20% of the final grade.

Attendance, Absences, Late Papers

While attendance is not required, it is expected. Each class will cover a considerable amount of material, and so missing a class will detract from a student's ability to complete the exams. Also, if the in-class discussion assignment is missed the grade will reflect it. Absences or late papers may be excused only in cases of illness or other extreme circumstances. Late summary papers will not be accepted. Late exam papers will be accepted only for up to one week, and they will be marked down one half grade per class day late.

There is an electronic discussion list for this class, limited to course members in the current (Fall 1997) course at Rice University. Its address is:

Information on how to subscribe to the discussion list.

Cynthia Freeland's Home Page

Rice U. Philosophy Home Page

UH Philosophy Home Page

URL for this page:
Copyright © 1997, Cynthia A. Freeland. All rights reserved.
January 15, 1998 - 09:09 AM