Philosophy 4530: Hellenistic Philosophy Spring 2009, m 30 30 pm Wilson 104 Instructor



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Philosophy 4530: Hellenistic Philosophy

Spring 2009, M 2.30-5.30 pm

Wilson 104
Instructor

Mariska Leunissen

Email: mleuniss@artsci.wustl.edu

Office: Wilson Hall Rm. 112 / 935-4753

Office hours: W 11.30am-1.30pm
Course Description

The Hellenistic Age, traditionally dated from the death of Alexander and his (Macedonian) Empire at 323 BCE to the birth of Augustus’ (Roman) Empire in 31 BCE, gave the West three of its most innovative and influential schools of philosophy: Epicureanism, Skepticism, and Stoicism. This course investigates the central features of their thought. Special attention is paid to the still-relevant debates between the Stoics and Skeptics about the possibility of knowledge, to the disagreements among all three schools about the issues of freedom, responsibility, and determinism, and to their ethical theories.


Prerequisites

This class is mainly designed to offer graduate students a more thorough understanding of key notions and ideas in Hellenistic Philosophy, but the class is open to anyone who has completed at least one course in Philosophy at the 300-level or has received permission of the instructor. These prerequisites, however, are the minimum: students who have not previously taken any introductions to ancient philosophy (such as Phil. 347C: Ancient Philosophy) or do not already have some experience reading ancient philosophers might find this course very difficult.


Course requirements
1) Two short (20 min.) seminar presentations 30% (15% each)

2) Ten short ‘reaction-journal’ entries 10%

3) One research paper (15-20 pages) 55%

4) Participation 5%


Note: You must complete all assignments to receive credit for this course. In addition, regular attendance and class participation are expected. Please bring assigned readings to class.
Ad 1. Two short (20 min.) seminar presentations

Each student will be expected to give two short presentations, which will mainly (a) provide an introduction to the assigned readings and (b) help focus the discussion of the primary texts in class on the most important or interesting issues. The presentations constitute 30% of the final grade.




Ad 2. Ten short ‘reaction-journal’ entries

Each student writes 100-120 words per week about that week’s readings and/or discussions during class, amounting to at least 10 short entries on Hellenistic philosophy in total. These entries may raise questions about the class material, point out disagreement with claims made in class, interpret difficult sections in the readings, express problems that require further exploration, apply some aspect of Hellenistic philosophy to contemporary philosophical issues, draw out connections between ideas discussed during earlier sessions, etc. The journal is meant to give you an extra opportunity to play with ideas, record your insights during the semester, and provide a source of materials to draw from when planning the project for your research paper. The journal-entries constitute 10% of the final grade.


Ad 3. One research paper

Each student will be expected to write a research paper (15-20 pages, double-spaced, standard font and margins) on a topic of his or her choice related to the course material (students are encouraged to discuss this topic first with the instructor before starting their research). A research paper should develop a genuine argument, while both giving a thorough analysis of primary texts and taking account of the relevant secondary literature on the issues discussed (more detailed instructions will be provided in class). The research paper constitutes 55% of the final grade. The paper is due on May 1st, 2009.


Ad 4. Participation

Students are expected to be willing to participate in discussions. In order to be able to participate actively students will have to have prepared the primary and secondary literature recommended. Participation constitutes 5% of the final grade. (Bonus points at instructor’s discretion.)


Plagiarism will be punished as severely as the university allows. Please make yourself familiar with the university’s policies on plagiarism.
Grading scale:

Numeric Grades

























0.00%

60

62.5

67.5

70

72.5

77.5

80

82.5

87.5

90

92.5

97.5

F

D-

D

D+

C-

C

C+

B-

B

B+

A-

A

A+

Letter Grades































F

D-

D

D+

C-

C

C+

B-

B

B+

A-

A

A+

0

62

65

68

72

75

78

82

85

88

92

95

100


Course Readings:
Required: B. Inwood and L. Gerson, 1997, Hellenistic Philosophy 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing 1997. (IG)

Recommended: A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley, 1987, The Hellenistic Philosophers 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


Other texts (e.g. Lucretius & Seneca) will be posted on e-reserve (password: ataraxia).
Course schedule (subject to adjustment)


Week 1

1/12


Course Introduction

Three main schools: Skepticism; Stoicism; Epicureanism

Hellenistic division of philosophy


Week 2

(1/19)


No class: Martin Luther King day
Read (Readings are posted on e-reserve):

J. Mansfeld, ‘Sources’, pp.3-30;

T. Dorandi, ‘Chronology’, pp. 31-53

T. Dorandi, ‘Organization and structure of the philosophical schools’, pp. 55-62


From: Algra, K., and J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld and M. Schofield (eds.), 1999, The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.






Section I: Epicureanism


Week 3

1/26


Epicurean Ethics

Life of Epicurus in Diogenes Laertius (IG 3-5)

Letter to Menoeceus (IG 28-31)

Ancient Collection of Maxims (IG 32-40)

Diogenes Laertius on Epicurus’ ethical views (IG 42-44)


Week 4

2/2


Epicurean Physics
Letter to Herodotus (IG 5-19)

Letter to Pythocles (IG 19-28)




Week 5

2/9


Epicurean Epistemology
Diogenes Laertius (IG 40-42)

Plutarch Against Colotes (IG 65-71)

Fragments & Testimonia (IG 81-85)


Week 6

2/16


Doxographical reports on Epicurus I
Cicero (IG 40-63)

Lucretius De Rerum Natura I-II (translation posted on e-reserve)




Week 7

2/23


Doxographical reports on Epicurus II
Lucretius De Rerum Natura III-VI (translation posted on e-reserve)







Section II: Stoicism


Week 8

3/2


Stoic Epistemology
Diogenes Laertius (IG 110-111)

Various sources (IG 111-131)




(3/9)

Spring Break

Week 9

3/16; 3/18



Stoic Physics & Theology
Diogenes Laertius (IG 132-139)

Cleanthes Hymns (IG 139-141)

Cicero On the Nature of the Gods (IG 141-161)

Aetius (IG 161-163)

Various sources (IG 175-178)


Week 10

3/23; 3/25



Stoics on Fate, Providence & Teleology
Various sources (IG 179-190)

Seneca Letters 88 and 122 (posted on e-reserve)




Week 11

3/30


Stoic Ethics
Diogenes Laertius (IG 190-203)

Stobaeus (203-232)

Cicero (234-242)

Various sources (242-260)








Section III: Skepticism


Week 12

4/6


Academic skepticism
Diogenes Laertius, Numenius, Cicero (IG 261-285)


Week 13

4/13


Phyrronian Skepticism
Diogenes Laertius (IG 285-297)

Aristocles in Eusebius (IG 299-300)

Photius (IG 300-302)

Sextus Empiricus Outlines of Pyrrhonism (IG 302-308; 325-339)




Week 14

4/20


Skeptical physics and ethics
Sextus Empiricus Outlines of Pyrrhonism (IG 362-397)

Bibliography:

Collections of primary texts




  • Julia Annas & Jonathan Barnes, eds., 2000, Sextus Empiricus. Outlines of Scepticism. 2nd ed. Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • A. A. Long and D. N. Sedley, 1987, The Hellenistic Philosophers 2 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

  • B. Inwood and L. Gerson, 1997, Hellenistic Philosophy 2nd ed. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing 1997.

  • Hans von Arnim, Stoicorum Veterum Fragmenta (Leipzig, 1903- 5; vol. 4 indexes, 1924)

General Introductions




        • Algra, K., and J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld and M. Schofield (eds.), 1999, The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Brennan, T., 2005, The Stoic Life, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Inwood, B., 2003, The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Long, A. A., 2002, Epictetus: a Stoic and Socratic guide to life, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Long, A. A., 1986, Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Epicureans, Skeptics, 2nd edition, London: Duckworth.

  • Rist, J. M., 1969, Stoic Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Rist, J.M., 1972, Epicurus: An Introduction, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sedley, David, 1998, Lucretius and the Transformation of Greek Wisdom, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sandbach, F. H., 1994, The Stoics, 2nd edition, London: Duckworth.

  • Sharples, R. W., 1996, Stoics, Epicureans and Skeptics, London: Routledge.

Selected collections, monographs, and articles on Epicureanism




  • Annas, Julia. 1987. “Epicurus on Pleasure and Happiness.” Philosophical Topics 15: 5–21.

  • Asmis, Elizabeth. 1984. Epicurus’ Scientific Method. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.

  • Asmis, Elizabeth. 1990. “Free Action and the Swerve.” (Review of Walter G. Englert, Epicurus on the swerve and voluntary action.) Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 8: 275–291.

  • Bobzien, Susanne. 2000. “Did Epicurus Discover the Free-Will Problem?” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 19: 287–337.

  • Brennan, Tad. 1996. “Epicurus on Sex, Marriage and Children.” Classical Philology 91: 346–352.

  • Brown, E. 2002. “Epicurus on the Value of Friendship (Sententia Vaticana XXIII).” Classical Philology 97: 68–80.

  • Cooper, John M. 1999. “Pleasure and Desire in Epicurus.” In John M. Cooper, Reason and Emotion (Princeton: Princeton University Press) 485–514.

  • Everson, Stephen. 1990. “Epicurus on the Truth of the Senses.” In Stephen Everson, ed., Epistemology (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 161–183.

  • Everson, Stephen. 1994. “Epicurus on Mind and Language.” In Stephen Everson, ed., Language (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 74–108 = Companions to Ancient Thought 3.

  • Gosling, J.C.B. and C.C.W. Taylor. 1982. The Greeks on Pleasure. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Konstan, David. 1973. Some Aspects of Epicurean Psychology. Leiden: E.J. Brill.

  • Lesses, Glenn. 2002. “Happiness, Completeness, and Indifference to Death in Epicurean Ethical Theory.” Apeiron 35: 57–68.

  • Mitsis, Phillip. 1988. Epicurus’ Ethical Theory: The Pleasures of Invulnerability. Ithaca NY: Cornell University Press.

  • Mitsis, Phillip. 2002. “Happiness and Death in Epicurean Ethics.” Apeiron 35: 41–55.

  • O’Keefe, Tim. 1996. “Does Epicurus Need the Swerve as an Archê of Collisions?” Phronesis 41: 305–317.

  • O’Keefe, Tim. 2001. “Is Epicurean Friendship Altruistic?” Apeiron 34: 269–305.

  • Purinton, Jeffrey S. 1993. “Epicurus on the Telos.” Phronesis 38: 281–320.

  • Purinton, Jeffrey S. 2001. “Epicurus on the Nature of the Gods.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 21: 181–231.

  • Warren, James. 2000. “Epicurean Immortality.” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 18: 231–261.

  • Warren, James. 2004. Facing Death: Epicurus and his Critics. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Selected collections, monographs, and articles on Stoicism




  • Annas, J., 1993, The Morality of Happiness, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Bobzien, S., 2001, Determinism and Freedom in Stoic Philosophy, Oxford: Clarendon.

  • Betegh, G., 2003, ‘Cosmological Ethics in the Timaeus and Early Stoicism’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 24: 273-302.

  • Brunschwig, J., 1994, Papers in Hellenistic Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Cooper, J. M., 2004, ‘Stoic Autonomy’, in J. Cooper (ed.), Knowledge, Nature and the Good: Essays on Ancient Philosophy, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • Inwood, Brad, 1985, Ethics and Human action in Early Stoicism, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Inwood, Brad, 2005, Reading Seneca: Stoic Philosophy at Rome, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Long, A. A., 1996, Stoic Studies, Berkeley: University of California Press.

  • Salles, R., 2005, The Stoics on Determinism and Compatibilism, Burlington VT: Ashgate.

  • Schofield, M., and M. Burnyeat and J. Barnes (eds.), 1980, Doubt and Dogmatism: Studies in Hellenistic Epistemology, Oxford: Clarendon.

  • Schofield, M. and G. Striker (eds.), 1986, The Norms of Nature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Striker, G., 1996, Essays on Hellenistic Epistemology and Ethics, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Sorabji, R., 2000, Emotion and Peace of Mind: from Stoic agitation to Christian temptation, Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Selected collections, monographs, and articles on Ancient Skepticism




  • Annas, Julia & Jonathan Barnes. The Modes of Scepticism: Ancient Texts and Modern Interpretations. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

  • Aristocles of Messene. Aristocles of Messene: Testimonia and Fragments. Maria Lorenza Chiesara, ed. Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford: 2001.

  • Bailey, Alan. Sextus Empiricus and Pyrrhonean Scepticism. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2002.

  • Barnes, Jonathan. The Toils of Scepticism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1990.

  • Bett, Richard. Pyrrho, his Antecedents, and his Legacy. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003.

  • Brittain, Charles. Philo of Larissa: The Last of the Academic Sceptics. Oxford Classical Monographs. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2001.

  • Burnyeat, Myles, ed. The Skeptical Tradition. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983.

  • Burnyeat, Myles. “Can the Sceptic Live His Scepticism?” In Schofield, et. al., 1981; Reprinted in Burnyeat, 1983; and Burnyeat & Frede, 1997.

  • Burnyeat, Myles & Michael Frede, eds. The Original Sceptics: A Controversy. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Inc., 1998.

  • Diogenes Laertius. Lives of Eminent Philosophers. 2 Vols. R.D. Hicks. Loeb Classical Library. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1925.

  • Fogelin, R.J. Pyrrhonian Reflections on Knowledge and Justification. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994.

  • Frede, Michael. “The Sceptic's Beliefs.” In Burnyeat & Frede, eds.

  • Frede, Michael. “The Sceptic's Two Kinds of Assent.” In Burnyeat & Frede, eds.

  • Hallie, Philip P., Sanford G. Etheridge, Donald R. Morrison. Sextus Empiricus: Selections from the Major Writings on Scepticism, Man & God. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing, Co., 1985.

  • Hankinson, R.J. The Sceptics. New York: Routledge, 1995.

  • Mates, Benson. The Skeptic Way: Sextus Empricus's Outlines of Pyrrhonism. New York: Oxford University Press, 1996.

  • Schofield, Malcolm, Myles Burnyeat, Jonathan Barnes. Doubt and Dogmatism: Studies in Hellenistic Epistemology. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.

  • Tarrant, H. Scepticism or Platonism? The Philosophy of the Fourth Academy. Cambridge Classical Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.









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