Reason, Desire and Happiness: Hellenistic Philosophy

15 points

Not offered 2024, offered in 2015, 2017

For further information see Humanities


In ancient Greece and Rome, philosophy was thought to be more than simply a discipline of academic interest. Many philosophers saw themselves as being like physicians. If physicians treat and heal the body, the role of the philosopher is to provide comparable therapy for the soul so that we can live well and flourish. This view was common to Aristotle, the Epicureans, the Sceptics and the Stoics. This course introduces you to this philosophical tradition and to the work of its proponents. Topics covered include the relationship between emotion and reason, the value of true beliefs, the nature of erotic love, the fear of death, the basis of anger and aggression, the value of self-control, and the legitimate tasks and methods of philosophy.


45 points in PHIL and/or CLAS, with at least 30 of those 45 points at 200 level, or
with approval of the Head of School.