Know Thyself: An Introduction to Greek Philosophy


Semester 2, 2020
Monday 6.00pm – 9.00pm

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.

Census Date

Tuesday 18 August 




face-to-face 3-hour weekly classes in semester


  • ten 200-word assignments 50%
  • one 500-word essay 12.5%
  • one 1,500-word essay 37.5%
or [Lecturer's variation]
  • 2-hour written examination (2,000 words) 50%
  • one 1,500-word essay 37.5%
  • one 500-word essay 12.5% 


  • 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, MA: 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, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1963.
  • Meyer, Susan. Ancient Ethics: A Critical Introduction. London: Routledge, 2008.
  • Nussbaum, Martha C. The Therapy of Desire: Theory and Practice in Hellenistic Ethics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994.
  • Pakaluk, Michael. Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005.
  • Prior, William J. Virtue and Knowledge: An Introduction to Ancient Greek Ethics. London: Routledge, 1991.