In many ways ancient philosophy sets the agenda and foundations for all subsequent
developments in the history of philosophy. In this course, students will be introduced to the
major figures and ideas of ancient philosophy. This course will set the stage for subsequent
lessons in both the history of philosophy and systematic philosophy. This course will include
discussions of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Augustine among others. Students in this course
will be equipped to:
– demonstrate familiarity with the major figures and movements of ancient philosophy.
– identify and explain the core ideas and arguments of ancient philosophy
– critically and creatively engage with the most important ideas and arguments of ancient
– identify the ways in which the ideas and arguments of ancient philosophy impacted the
development of catholic theology and continue to be applicable in today’s world.
Texts for Course
1. Norman Melchert, The Great Conversation: An Historical Introduction to Philosophy, Fourth
Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2002). You can easily find the parallel passages in the most recent
edition, Eighth Edition (Oxford University Press, 2018).
2. Pierre Hadot, What is Ancient Philosophy?, Trans. M. Chase (Harvard: Belknap Press of Harvard
University Press, 2002).