PI107B History of Philosophy I

Module Outline for Semester 1

Component 1: Anicent Philosophy (Prof. Vasilis Politis)

The aim of these lectures is to study and critically discuss a selection of texts from Plato and Aristotle, and to concentrate on three central topics in the two philosophers:

TOPICS AND QUESTIONS
We shall concentrate on the following topics and questions:
TOPIC 1. THE ‘WHAT IS IT?’ QUESTION

TOPIC 2. THE IDEA OF APORIA

TOPIC 3. HUMAN DESIRE AND ITS OBJECTS

Component 2: Medieval Philosophy (Prof. Paul O'Grady)

The time scale of medieval philosophy is very long, from Augustine (354-430) to William of Ockham (d.1347). The philosophers of this period built on and developed ancient philosophy, especially the thought of Plato and Aristotle, mediated though later Greek schools, such as Neoplatonism. Many of the major philosophers of the period were concerned with relating philosophy to the Abrahamic religious traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Given the diversity of strands and figures in this period, the course will begin and end with a survey of main figures and historical movements, but will focus on two key figures of the period. We will begin with Augustine, examining how he brought Greek philosophy into dialogue with Christianity and looking specifically at his rejection of skepticism and his positive account of knowledge. Then we will move on to Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) and explore his general metaphysical system, as well as his account of mind. Hence this course will examine an influential epistemological position, an influential metaphysical position and an influential account of mind from the medieval period.
At the end of this course students will be able to: