This unit is an introduction to Greek philosophical thought. The Greek tradition is the foundation of all other Western philosophy and its history has profoundly influenced Christian thought and practice. Authors and schools of thought to be studied including Greek Tragedy, selected Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, and the Neo-Platonists. Students will be introduced to the historical period and its varied sources, and to topics such as nature, myth, tragedy, being, life and death, soul, freedom, immortality, the state, art, and God.

Unit code: AP1100C (Approved)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 1

Unit discipline: Philosophy

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a developed understanding of the theories, assumptions and terminology of some of the great philosophers of the Greek tradition.


Identify the purpose and context of selected Greek philosophical concepts and assess their broader implications


Situate the topics studied within the wider framework of the western intellectual tradition


Develop a capacity to critique the philosophical positions found in the Greek tradition of Western Philosophy


Lectures, Tutorials, Seminars

Indicative Bibliography

  • Ackrill, John L. Aristotle the Philosopher. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1981.
  • Annas, Julia. The Morality of Happiness. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Barnes, Jonathan, ed. The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. 2 vols. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995.
  • Blackson, Thomas A. Ancient Greek Philosophy: from the Presocratics to the Hellenistic Philosophers. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell, 2011.
  • Graham, Daniel W., ed. and trans. The Texts of Early Greek Philosophy: The Complete Fragments and Selected Testimonies of the Major Presocratics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • Hamilton, Edith, and Huntington Cairns, eds. Plato: The Collected Dialogues of Plato including the Letters. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1961.
  • Irwin, Terence. Aristotle’s First Principles. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988.
  • ¬———. Classical Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999.
  • Meyer, Susan. Ancient Ethics: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2008.
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994.
  • Pakaluk, Michael. Aristotle’s ‘Nichomachean Ethics’. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Prior, William J. Virtue and Knowledge: An Introduction to Greek Ethics. London: Routledge, 1991.
  • Sharples, R. W. Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics: An Introduction to Hellenistic Philosophy. Oxford: Routledge, 1996.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

1,500-word Essay

0 38.0

500-word Essay

0 12.0
Written Examination

2 hour written examination (2000 words)

0 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2016

Unit record last updated: 2020-10-30 19:16:46 +1100