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Ancient Philosophy - PHI00098M

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  • Department: Philosophy
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Stephen Everson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

In this module, we shall focus on a work by an ancient philosopher—for instance, one by Plato or Aristotle—in English translation and aim to provide a close reading of it to discern its argument and structure.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims


  • To understand the claims and arguments made by the author in the work (or, in the case of a Platonic dialogues, to understand those Plato has his characters put forward and their dialectical structure).
  • To deepen the students’ understanding of how to interpret a philosophical text, both paying attention to the details of that text but making appeal to philosophical virtues in choosing between different possible interpretations of it.
  • To deepen the students’ appreciation of the historical tradition of whatever area of philosophy the text is concerned with.


  • To develop students’ ability to provide convincing and justified readings of philosophical texts
  • To expand students’ knowledge of the history of the subject
  • To develop students’ skills in writing
  • To develop students’ philosophical skills in seeing how they are involved in making sense of philosophical texts.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module students should be able to:

  • Develop and defend interpretations of ancient philosophical texts.
  • Critically engage with secondary literature concerning ancient philosophy.
  • Evaluate the philosophical claims made by ancient philosophers, and defend informed opinions about which, if any, ancient philosophical theses should still be accepted today.
  • Identify the appropriate ways to approach an ancient text, depending on its form (e.g. dialogue).


Task Length % of module mark
Summative Essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Summative Essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

All feedback will be returned in line with current University and Departmental policy.

Indicative reading

To be confirmed.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.