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 PHIL237
Coordinator Dr N Gkogkas
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 5 FHEQ First Semester 15


To consider the theories and arguments of some of the most important ancient philosophers, in particular Plato and Aristotle.

To analyse and practise the dialectical skills portrayed in the ancient texts.

To reflect on the significance of rational discourse in the pursuit for the good life.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Students will be able to explain and evaluate some of the main theories in ancient Greek 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 identify points of agreement and disagreement between different philosophies.

(LO4) Students will be able to structure a discussion of central issues in ancient Greek philosophy.

(LO5) Students will be able to engage dialectically with positions in ancient Greek philosophy and to articulate the implications of these positions.

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

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

(LO8) Students will be able to highlight the social and political dimensions of ancient Greek philosophy, in terms of justice and the 'good life'.

(LO9) Students will be able to compare and contrast philosophy as an intellectual activity and philosophy as a 'way of life', with reference to Socratic enquiry.

(LO10) Students will be able to reflect on the significance of ancient Greek philosophy for the emergence of Western ideals about democracy and rational discourse.

(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 reconstructing and evaluating 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.



Presocratics – Parmenides
Learning and Recollection
Virtue and Wisdom
Philosophy and Eros or ‘Love'
Virtue and Eudaimonia
Plato and Aristotle on Ideas
Aristotle's Metaphysics

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: 11 x 1 hour lecture.
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) producing questions and notes on issues for subsequent group discussion in seminars, (iii) tracking progress through interactive polls during the session, et al.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Description: 11 x 1 hour seminar.
Seminars are formative spaces of applied and enquiry-led learning facilitated by the tutor. They are based on pre-set readings, study questions, research tasks, and the like. Seminars thus offer opportunities for students to respond to tutor- and peer-set questions, deepen understanding, apply ideas, develop arguments, and build confidence through group discussion. Participating students wor k normally in small groups towards the completion of short pieces of work, which are modelled on the assessment requirements for the module, and on which they receive formative feedback.
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Self-directed learning: Reading primary and secondary texts and online support materials. Preparing for seminars. Completing draft work in preparation for final assessment.

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
Assessment 1. There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment.  24    85       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Seminar discussion. This is not an anonymous assessment. Reassessment Opportunity: 750-word report.    15       

Recommended Texts

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