Philosophy 4530 - Mariska Leunissen

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Philosophy 4530: Hellenistic Philosophy
Spring 2009, M 2.30-5.30 pm
Wilson 104
Instructor
Mariska Leunissen
Email: [email protected]
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
2) Ten short ‘reaction-journal’ entries
3) One research paper (15-20 pages)
4) Participation
30% (15% each)
10%
55%
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.
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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
F
D- D
Letter Grades
F
D- D
0
62 65
67.5
D+
70
C-
72.5 77.5
C
C+
80
B-
82.5 87.5 90
B
B+ A-
92.5 97.5
A
A+
D+
68
C72
C
75
B82
B
85
A
95
C+
78
B+
88
A92
A+
100
Course Readings:
Required:
Recommended:
B. Inwood and L. Gerson, 1997, Hellenistic Philosophy 2nd ed.
Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing 1997. (IG)
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).
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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)
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Section II: Stoicism
Week 8
3/2
Stoic Epistemology
Diogenes Laertius (IG 110-111)
Various sources (IG 111-131)
(3/9)
Week 9
3/16; 3/18
Spring Break
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)
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Bibliography:
COLLECTIONS OF PRIMARY TEXTS
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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
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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
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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.
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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
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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.
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SELECTED COLLECTIONS, MONOGRAPHS, AND ARTICLES ON ANCIENT
SKEPTICISM
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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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