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Ancient Philosophy (PH339-15)


*This module is being discontinued with effect from 13/14*

This module runs in the Spring Term and is worth 15 CATS


This module aims to foster an advanced knowledge of, and critical engagement with, a key issue in Ancient Philosophy. Typically, it will engage in detail with one influential philosophical text or set of text from Ancient Greece, such as one of the major works of Plato or Aristotle. It will aim to explore the philosophical questions and arguments developed in this text or texts, and also consider their philosophical legacy. Detailed descriptions of the text(s) to be studied in a given year are available on the appropriate course material pages.


Ability to demonstrate knowledge of the key ideas in the set text, and how they relate to the period; demonstrate grasp of a range of substantive and exegetical issues raised by the text; critically assess key arguments, such as those connected with definitions of love and desire, and how they contribute to later philosophical debates; articulate own view, both orally and in writing, of the merits of different arguments; engage sympathetically yet critically with other points of view, both orally and in writing.


In this module students must attend 2 hours of lectures and one hour of seminars per week.

Lectures for 2012-13

Friday 2pm-4pm in LIB 1

There will be no lectures in reading week (week 6)

Seminars for 2012-13

Seminars will start in week 2

There will be no seminar in reading week (week 6)

Please sign up for a seminar group at the end of term 1 using reporttool.


This module can be assessed in the following ways:

  • 100% examination - 2 hours
  • 100% assessed - 1 x 2500 word essay

In addition all students must submit 1 x 2,500 word unassessed essay to be submitted ONLINE (and not in hard copy) as part of the Department's trial of the University's Assignment Management system taking place this term. The deadlines for these essays can be found on the 2012-13 essay deadlines schedule. For details of how to submit online for this module please go to the Assignment Management trial webpages

Please see here for further infomation on how to choose your assessment method



  • Shields, Christopher. (2012) Ancient Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction (Routledge)

Set Text:

  • Plato, Protagoras (Oxford World Classics)
  • Plato, Meno and Other Dialogues (Oxford World Classics)
  • Plato, Gorgias (Oxford World Classics)
  • Plato, Symposium (Oxford World Classics)
  • Plato, Republic (Oxford World Classics)

It would also be very helpful to read Plato’s Lysis.

Course materials from previous years