Course: Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

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Course title Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Course code KFHS/KB306
Organizational form of instruction Lecture + Seminary
Level of course Bachelor
Year of study not specified
Semester Winter
Number of ECTS credits 3
Language of instruction Czech
Status of course Compulsory
Form of instruction Face-to-face
Work placements This is not an internship
Recommended optional programme components None
  • Konrádová Veronika, Mgr. Ph.D.
Course content
1. Introduction: preconditions for the emergence of philosophy in ancient Greece in the 6th century BC; cultural and religious background of the emergence of philosophy; myth and logos; philosophical approach to the world. 2. Presocratics: arché and order of the world (Miletus, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Atomists); identity and difference; relation of thought and being; possibilities and limits of human knowledge (Xenophanes, Democritus). 3. Sophists and Socrates: Sophistic relativism: relativism of knowledge and relativism of values; education for civic virtue and the teachability of the arete; the distinction between physis and nomos; Socrates as a historical and literary figure; Sophistic vs Socratic mode of conversation; ethical intellectualism; the Socratic "I know that I know nothing"; the trial of Socrates. 4. Plato: metaphysics and epistemology: the distinction between knowledge and opinion; knowledge as recollection; Plato's similes (the meaning of the similes of the sun, the straight line, and the cave in the Republic; the distinction between ideas and individuals; the interpretation of ideas in Plato's dialogues; ethics and politics: the concept of the soul and the requirement of "care of the soul"; the question of justice in the Republic; the political models in theRepublic and the Laws; the classification of constitutional types. 5. Aristotle: metaphysics and epistemology: Aristotle's "first philosophy"; interpretation of change and motion in terms of dynamis and energeia and terms of hyl? and morphe; úsia and accidents; accidental and substantive change; ethics and politics: the good life and areté; ethical and rational virtue; man as a political creature; classification of constitutions and the best constitution. 6. Hellenism and the thought of late antiquity: philosophical thought in a new cultural and political context; Stoics; Epicureans; Skeptics; the legacy of classical Greek philosophy in the Neo-Platonists; Plotinus. 7. The rise of Christianity: the dialogue between Christianity and paganism, patristics (Justin, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen); the search for a relationship between philosophy and faith (Tertullian and Augustine). 8. St Augustine: a symbiosis of the Christian religion and Platonic philosophy; philosophical themes: time, historicity (civitas terrena and the civitas Dei), ethics (dual predestination and the doctrine of grace, the problem of free will), knowledge (the theory of illumination). 9. Early Middle Ages: Boethius, John Philoponus, John Scotus Eriugena, Anselm of Canterbury (attempt to give rational support to the truths of faith, ontological proof of God's existence), Peter Abelard (scholastic method, dispute over universalia). 10. Arabic and Jewish philosophy; spread of Greek learning to the Latin West through translations in the 12th century, reception of Aristotle; the foundation of universities, organization of university studies; the intellectual role of monastic orders (Dominicans, Franciscans). 11. High Middle Ages: Albert the Great, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas; Thomas's synthesis of Christianity and Aristotelianism, evidence for the existence of God (the five ways); solution to the problem of universals. 12. Late Middle Ages: via antiqua vs via moderna, William Ockham ("Ockham's razor", nominalist position in the dispute over universalia, implications of nominalism for the concept of science) 13. Medieval vs Renaissance thought: the renaissance of ancient scholarship in the 15th-16th centuries, Nicolaus Cusanus.

Learning activities and teaching methods
unspecified, unspecified, unspecified
Learning outcomes
The course is focused on acquaintance with the history of ancient and medieval philosophy and on the systematic interpretation of key topics in the field of ontology, epistemology and ethics, which are formulated by ancient thinkers. The theoretical explanation is supplemented in the seminar by work with primary texts.
Learning outcomes: the student will acquire the following professional knowledge: - the student will be able to orient himself/herself in the philosophical thought of antiquity and the Middle Ages. - be able to use specialist terminology - be able to read and interpret primary philosophical texts - be able to apply the knowledge gained from reading the text to the theoretical knowledge of the historical and systematic overview of ancient and medieval philosophy

Assessment methods and criteria
The course ends with a written test examination. The test consists of open-ended questions to which students must actively formulate answers. Test questions examine knowledge corresponding to the content of the lectures and the recommended literature. The test also includes interpreting a short textual excerpt from the seminar readings.
Recommended literature
  • Aristotelés. Etika Nikomachova. Praha, 1996.
  • Aurelius Augustinus. Vyznání. Praha, 1992. ISBN 8017-480-3.
  • Heinzmann, R. Středověká filosofie, Olomouc. Olomouc, 2000. ISBN 80-7021-131-8.
  • Hussey, E. Presokratici, Rezek, Praha. 1997.
  • Kenny, A. Tomáš Akvinský, Praha. 1993.
  • Platón. Ústava. Praha, 1996.
  • Ricken, F. Antická filosofie. Olomouc, 1999. ISBN 80-7182-092-X.
  • Sousedík, S. Jsoucno a bytí; Křesťanská akademie. Praha, 1992. ISBN 80-900615-8-3.
  • Svoboda, K. Zlomky předsokratovských myslitelů. Praha, 1989.
  • Tretera, J. Nástin dějin evropského myšlení. Paseka, 1999. 1999.
  • VERNANT, J. P. Počátky řeckého myšlení. Praha, 1993.

Study plans that include the course
Faculty Study plan (Version) Category of Branch/Specialization Recommended year of study Recommended semester