History of Philosophy I A
Trinity College Dublin
Area of Study
Taught In English
Course Level Recommendations
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Recommended U.S. Semester Credits2
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units3
Hours & Credits
OverviewAncient philosophy, provided it is treated thematically and not purely historically, provides an excellent focus for some major philosophical themes. (1) We begin with Parmenides' claim that the notion of change is incoherent, from which he derived that the appearance of change is mere appearance or even illusion. (2) We take up Aristotle's response to this challenge, which provided him with an opportunity to develop an account of the metaphysics of changing particulars (we shall also compare his account to Plato's). (3) We turn to the Socratic conception of philosophical argument and inquiry, based on the search for the knowledge of essences as a means of answering certain central aporiai. (4) We follow the trials and tribulations of the notion of essence, from Plato's theory of forms to Aristotle's hylomorphism. (5) We conclude with some sceptical notes on this whole project of essence?based metaphysics, as articulated by some ancient sceptics and summarised in Sextus Empiricus.
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