The Western intellectual tradition was born of philosophy first commenced in Ancient Greece.  Indeed, the term itself is of the language of this ancient culture: it is a compound of φίλος/pilos meaning “love” (from the verb φιλέω), and σοφός/sopos, meaning “wisdom.”  This course traces the historical development of Ancient Greek discussions of nature and metaphysics, knowledge, logic, philosophical anthropology, and ethics born of this love of wisdom for its own sake.  The primary texts considered in this course are those of the fragments and testomonia (selections) of the Pre-Soctratics beginning with Thales of Miletus (6th Century B.C.), and essential texts from Plato, Aristotle (5th - 4th  Century B.C.), and the Hellenistic period, including Lucretius and Epictetus.

This Course treats philosophical anthropology as the foundation of Virtue Ethics in Plato, Aristotle, and St. Thomas Aquinas.  The principles of these accounts are given primary consideration: nature (φύσις/phusis), end (τέλος/telos), soul (ψῡχή/psuche), functional-act (ἔργον/ergon), along with the notion of definition (τί ἐστι/ti esti) by which we know such notions. Major historical objections to these approaches are considered, as are contemporary sources seeking to recover and develop the principles of Virtue Ethics.