Topnet Has Current Semester Version of PHIL 302 Syllabus


Fall 2004 Version of PHIL 302 Syllabus


History of Western Philosophy I: Ancient and Medieval

PHIL 302-001 (Call No. 24158)
Fall 2004
Instructor: Dr. Jan Garrett
Time: 9:05-9:55 MWF
Location: Cherry Hall 304
Professor's Office: C. H. 306
Phone: 745-5740 (If on campus, call 55740.)
Course Home Page:

Students taking the course should pick up a copy of the Fall 2005 syllabus in class.

Catalog Description

Survey of philosophy from pre-Socratics through the Middle Ages, with emphasis on key figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas.
Fall 2004 Clarification of Course Description
Survey of philosophical positions and schools in classical Greece and Rome (such as Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism, and Epicureanism); followed by an introduction to Medieval Philosophy through brief representative works.
Required Texts:
Julia Annas, Voices of Ancient Philosophy: An Introductory Reader (Oxford University Press, 2001), first edition, ISBN#: 0-19-512695-5

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy (Penguin, 2000), ISBN#: 0140447806

Thomas Aquinas, On Law, Morality, and Politics (Hackett Publishers, 1988), ISBN#: 0-87220-031-0

Additional (relatively short) handouts will be assigned, as well as material available on the Internet. Papers will probably require a modest amount of research in the library.

Please familiarize yours as soon as possible with materials accessible from PHIL 302 Homepage. You can reach this page also by starting from Dr. Garrett's homepage, clicking the "Teaching" button, then clicking the link to "History of Philosophy I"

Note for Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who require accommodations (academic adjustments and/or auxiliary aids or services) for this course must contact the Office for Student Disability Services, Room 101, Garrett Conference Center. The OFSDS telephone number is (270) 745-5004 V/TDD. Please DO NOT request accommodations directly from the professor or instructor without a letter of accommodation from the Office for Student Disability Services.

Projected Means of Determining Grade, with Tentative Weighting

A. Two exams.

1. Midterm - 22 percent.

2. Final exam - 22 percent. The final exam will take place during the scheduled exam period. It will have a comprehensive aspect.

B. Argument Analysis and Two Papers: I shall supply details, suggestions, and due dates later.
Argument Analysis: Consider a passage in an ancient philosophical text from a list to be supplied by the instructor. Isolate the key question addressed by the author, the conclusion, any intermediate conclusions, and the premises (including definitions, particular and general factual claims, etc.) the author uses to make his case. (10 per cent)

Paper I: Discuss a topic debated in ancient Western philosophy and a view on this topic held by an ancient philosopher or philosophical school, including how the philosopher or school builds a case (argues) for this view. Evaluate the case, indicating questionable assumptions, potential weakness in reasoning, counter-arguments that were or could have been raised by opponents. (18 per cent)

Paper II: Similar to Paper I, but the topic and philosopher or school involved must be distinct from those discussed in Paper I and the philosopher or school involved should have flourished no earlier than Aristotle and no later than 1400. (18 per cent)

3. Other (10 percent maximum)
  • 5-minute biographical presentation at appropriate point on leading ancient or medieval philosopher (3 points, one time).
  • 5-10 minute solo paper presentation or debate presentation in conjunction with a contrary presentation by another student (2-6 points).
  • Adequate verbal response to study questions.
  • Constructive participation in other aspects of class discussion (Up to 4 points.)
  • Attendance alone will count up to four points. (I will not necessarily take attendance every session.)
  • Instructor's Office Hours 10:00-11:00 MW and by appointment. I am often in my office between 8 am and 3 pm when not in class or meetings. Feel free to call me (55740) to make an appointment.

    Email Communication:

    My email address is You may leave messages for me there. Because of the occasional high volume of email messages, I cannot always respond to everyone promptly. I shall respond as soon as I am able. (Questions that can receive a brief answer may be answered more promptly than questions that require a longer one.)

    Tentative Schedule of Sessions and Main Topics, with Readings

    "VAP" refers to Voices of Ancient Philosophy: An Introductory Reader, edited by Julia Annas.

    Numbers following "VAP" refer to the pages in VAP. (P) indicates that the passage is from a dialogue by Plato.

    S1. Introduction. Read: Plato, Cave Allegory, VAP 177-79 (Rep. 514a-517a) (P)
          Read also Cicero, "The Four Roles We Play" (CW, Required Reading, item 6)

    S2. Periods and Schools (VAP, xix-xxiii); the Poets as Background to Philosophy

    Read first three sections of "Homer's God's, Plato's Gods"
          (CW, More Materials, item 2)

    For a list of the major ancient philosophical schools, their sources and their later influence, see Philosophical Schools and Traditions.

    S3-5. Three Presocratics: Xenophanes, Anaximenes, Heraclitus
         (CW, Required Readings 1-3)


    S6. Herodotus, Three Types of Regime, VAP 427-29 (also rec.: VAP 430-33)

    S7. "Critias" (CW, Required Reading) and Protagoras, VAP, 373-75 (P)

    S8. Callicles and Glaucon, VAP, 377-79; 383-87 (P)

    S9. Socrates' Defense Speech
         (if you haven't got the text, see CW, Required Reading, item 5)

    S10. Socrates' Defense of Obedience to Athenian Laws, VAP 379-83 (P)


    S11-12. Plato, VAP 71-82, 83-4 (P)

    S13-14. Aristotle on Emotion in general and Anger in particular, VAP 84-89;
         Aristotle on Virtue and Anger, VAP 91-94.

    S15-16. Stoics on Virtue, Emotion, and Anger, VAP 91-97

    (Also rec.: Euripides' Medea (excerpt), VAP 110-14; and Galen against Stoics, VAP 116-18)

    THE GOOD LIFE (VAP Part 5)

    (Recommended background: Herodotus, VAP 299-301, Aristotle, VAP 297-98, Democritus, 304-305; Polus, VAP 305-9, 318-19 (P)

    S17-18. Stoics, VAP 328-38

    S19. Epicurus, VAP 338-51

    S20 Midterm

    S21-22. Aristotle's positive view, VAP 320-323; 325 (ch. 9)-328


    S23 Plato (lecture). Recommended reading: Republic II-IV.

    S24. Aristotle, VAP 387-93

    S25. Epicurean Contractualism, VAP 393-96,

    S26. Cicero on Natural Law, VAP 397-404

    KNOWLEDGE and REALITY (VAP part 3)

    S27-28. Plato's Classical View.
         The Forms, the Good, the Divided Line, and the Cave: VAP 166-180


    S29 Epicurean philosophy of nature

    S30 Stoic philosophy of nature

    S31 Neo-Platonism, a brief introduction, VAP 360-69 (recommended)

    Representative Works in Medieval Philosophy

    S32-38. Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy

    S39-43. Thomas Aquinas, On Law

    Note on VAP Part 4.

    We will not have time for the metaphysical questions of Part 1 or 4 in class, but you are invited to pursue these topics in your papers or at your leisure later.

    Stoics and Epicureans on Fate and Freedom: VAP 16-22 and 29-34
    The Case for Plato's Forms: VAP 234-39; 241-43; 245-46 (P)
    Aristotle on Third Man (a critique of Plato), VAP 258: 83.32-85.3
    The Cynical Response, 254
    The Stoic view of Plato's Forms, 254-55
    Aristotle on Causes, 269-73 (On Coming to Be and Passing Away, II, 9; Physics 3, 7)
    Epicureans Against Teleology, VAP 278-80
    Augustine on Time, VAP 280-94