Greek Philosophy

Greek Philosophy: The Problem of Socrates
Why did Socrates “call philosophy down from the heavens, set her in the cities of men and also their homes, and compel her to ask questions about life and morals and things good and evil”? Why was philosophy indifferent to man, then considered dangerous to men when it did pay attention? How was philosophy ultimately transformed by Plato and Aristotle as a consequence of the examination of human knowledge that Socrates made intrinsic to philosophy? In this course we will consider the central questions of ancient Greek philosophy from the pre-Socratics through Plato and Aristotle by focusing on what Nietzsche called "the Problem of Socrates": why Socrates abandoned "pre-Socratic" natural science in order to examine the opinions of his fellow Athenians, and why they put him to death for corruption and impiety. Texts will include selected fragments of the pre-Socratics and sophists, works of Aristophanes, Xenophon, Plato, Aristotle , and Nietzsche. 3 hrs. lect disc.
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All Sections in Fall 2013

Fall 2013

CLAS0275A-F13 Lecture (Witkin)