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The intellectual rigour, which informed the Greeks’ speculations on life, the universe and everything, changed our understanding of the world forever. In this course we survey the origins and development of western philosophy in the Greek world, focusing on the 6th to the 4th centuries BC when many areas that preoccupy philosophers today were analysed and explored by the Greeks, including cosmology, physics, ethics, politics, psychology and more. Figures such as Socrates, Plato and many others before and after them will feature.
We focus on the Presocratics, the Sophists (often called the first humanists) and Socrates, Plato and Aristotle in their cultural context; we analyse the following areas of ancient thought: on the nature of the cosmos, concepts of knowledge and reality, the nature vs nurture debate, political and ethical theories, psychology, rhetoric, and aesthetics. As a history of ideas, this course will also examine relevant texts from ancient poets, dramatists, and historians in so far as they engage with intellectual developments of their age; and it will also address the legacy and influence of Greek speculative thought in the modern world.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Employable, innovative and enterprising
Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.
Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.
Any 15 points at 100 level from CLAS or PHIL, orany 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.
CLAS324; PHIL314; PHIL224
CLAS104 or CLAS/PHIL141 or any 100-level in CLAS or PHIL.
Some classes will be held at the City Campus in the Arts Centre, 3 Hereford Street.
Please check the course LEARN page for further details and updates.
Domestic fee $785.00
International fee $3,500.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see