Ancient Philosophy, Happiness and Desire

15 points

Not offered 2023, offered in 2014

For further information see Humanities


In ancient Greece, philosophy was thought to be more than simply a discipline of academic interest. Many philosophers saw themselves as analogous to physicians. If physicians treat and heal the body, the role of the philosopher is to provide comparable therapy for the soul in order that we can flourish and live well. This view was common to Aristotle, the Epicureans, the Sceptics and the Stoics. This course is designed to introduce students 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 the philosophical enterprise.


Subject to approval of the Head of Department.