Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code PHIL368
Coordinator Dr P Vassilopoulou
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


To consider the theories and arguments of some of the most important philosophers of the Hellenistic and Neoplatonic periods. To study key ethical, epistemological and metaphysical concepts and their interconnections. To enable students to analyse and practise the dialectical skills portrayed in the texts examined.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to explain and evaluate some of the main theories in Hellenistic and Neoplatonic philosophy.

(LO2) Students will be able to analyse concepts and arguments relating to classic ethical, epistemological and/or metaphysical issues.

(LO3) Students will be able to structure a discussion of central issues in Hellenistic and Neoplatonic philosophy

(LO4) Students will be able to identify points of agreement and disagreement between different philosophies.

(LO5) Students will be able to engage dialectically with positions in ancient and/or medieval philosophy and articulate their implications.

(LO6) Students will be able to present their ideas with clarity and confidence.

(LO7) Students will be able to develop in writing coherent, structured and informative accounts of abstract philosophical issues.

(S1) Students will develop their skills in making appropriate use of information technology, information on the World Wide Web and reference works and databases relevant to the discipline.

(S2) Students will enhance their capacity to participate, in a dispassionate and respectful manner, in debates about controversial and profound matters.

(S3) Students will develop their willingness critically to evaluate and reflect upon arguments, beliefs, proposals and values, both their own and those of others.

(S4) Students will enhance their abilities in reading and understanding texts and in comprehending abstract material.

(S5) Students will develop their skills in thinking critically, analysing problems and analysing and assessing arguments.

(S6) Students will enhance their ability to identify and reflect critically upon the issues that underlie debates.

(S7) Students will develop confidence in considering previously unfamiliar ideas and approaches

(S8) Students will enhance their ability to marshal arguments and present them orally and in writing.

(S9) Students will develop the ability to perform bibliographical searches, to include (to professional standard) citations and bibliographies in their work and to plan, organise and produce presentations and essays.

(S10) Students will enhance their oral and written communications skills and develop skill in explaining complex material in a precise manner.



Representative topics that could be covered in any given year include: Hellenistic (1): What are we? The Soul and the Human Being. Hellenistic (2): How do I Know Anything? Hellenistic (3): What is Reality? Neoplatonism (1): Plotinian Metaphysics and the Role of Soul. Neoplatonism (2): Intellect, Knowledge and Self-knowledge. Neoplatonism (3): On Beauty: Plotinus and Art.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Hybrid/online variants to teaching methods are described below. ‘Standard’ delivery is campus-based.

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture (asynchronous; online).
Description: Lectures are tutor-led activities, offering a map of the syllabus and a framework for independent enquiry-led research. Students are encouraged to engage actively with lectures through, for example: (i) taking opportunities to ask questions during the session; (ii) reflecting on and responding to questions posed to them; (iii) producing questions and notes on issues for subsequent group discussion in seminars (when asynchronous, comments are enabled in Canvas for all pre-recorded lectures).
Attendance Recorded: No

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar (synchronous; online or on campus as required).
Description: Seminars are formative spaces of applied and enquiry-led learning based on pre-set readings, tasks, and questions facilitated by the tutor. Seminars thus offer opportunities for stude nts to respond to tutor- and peer-set questions, deepen understanding, clarify concepts, apply ideas, develop arguments and build confidence through group discussion. One or two students take the lead each week through peer-teaching, delivering presentations based on their own enquiries and identification of questions and issues.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours           11


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 128


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Presentation This is not an anonymous assessment. There is a resit opportunity. Group work recommended but optional.    15       
Essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment.    85       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.