Classics 303: Greek Intellectual History

176 Education; MWF 12.00-12.50
Malcolm Wilson
PLC 347 (346-4155; mwilson@oregon); Office Hours: MW 10.00-11.50

Aims of the Course: We will be studying the intellectual history of Greece from before the time of Hesiod to Plato (d. 347 B.C). Although this is only a small portion of the Greek achievement, it was during this time that many of the main currents and problems of the ancient thought and philosophy were set in lasting form. This is not a course on the Presocratic philosophers only, although they will figure largely. Our attention will be directed to theory and speculation about man and the cosmos using literary, historical, medical and philosophical texts. We shall see a number of major themes develop through the period: the concern for understanding the universe in orderly terms and man's place in the cosmos, the limits of human knowledge and the possibility of understanding.

Class Arrangements and Evaluation: There will be a combination of lecture and discussion in this course. I shall expect the students to have read the material assigned and be prepared to comment on it in class. I shall try to provide outlines of my lecture and discussion notes on the World Wide Web in advance of the class. There will be a midterm exam (30%) on May 8 and a final exam (40%) (involving identification, short answer and essay questions) and a final paper (about 8 pages) (30%). Papers are due on time (May 26). Late papers will be graded down each day late (e.g. one day late will make an A paper an A- paper). I have provided a "style sheet" in the handout binder listing the most common mistakes students make in paper writing. Please consult it. I shall return ungraded any paper which contains more than five technical mistakes.

Reading List

I have also put books on reserve. A list of these books and their call numbers can be found in the photocopy material on reserve.