Ancient Philosophy

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

This course provides students with the opportunity for in depth study of central primary texts from classical antiquity, the period from around 600 BC to 500 AD. Plato and Aristotle are the two most central authors from this period, but texts by other authors may also be covered (e.g. the Pre-Socratics, Epicurus, the Stoics, Augustine). Students will become familiar with central philosophical problems of the period, and also obtain an understanding of the special character of its philosophy and its influence on later philosophy. Through secondary literature students will acquire knowledge of different interpretations of the ancient sources.

The course provides a solid foundation for studying the philosophy of later epochs, including contemporary philosophy.

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Recommended Previous Knowledge
Approved first semester studies. Specialized study courses presuppose good background knowledge in philosophy, and students should normally have finished their exams in all 100-level cumpolsary courses. A good proficiency in English is necessary since it ought to be assumed that much of the prescribed reading will be in English.
Access to the Course
The course is open to students admitted at the University of Bergen
Teaching and learning methods

Teaching is offered in the form of lectures and/or seminars.

Supervision of term paper: supervision is a voluntary offer and can occur individually or in groups.

The number of gatherings may be reduced if the number of students attending the course is less than 4. In that case, the students will be compensated with individual or group tutoring

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance
Forms of Assessment

A semester assignment paper of 3000- 5000 words (not including table of contents, list of references etc.) The topic of the paper must be approved in advance by the teacher of the course. . The semester assignment paper will be assessed at the end of the semester.

Exams in the course are held every semester.

Grading Scale
From A to F
Course Evaluation
The teaching will be evaluated from time to time.