History of Ancient Philosophy (p) (2008/2009)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Linda Napolitano
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Other available courses
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Primo semestre dal Sep 29, 2008 al Jan 17, 2009.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

Beyond offering a general picture of authors and schools within the Ancient Philosophy, the course aims at teaching to use the proper philosophical terminology (nearly all deriving from ancient Greek). Also it aims at teaching the critical use of an original philosophical text, for acquiring basic philosophical matters and concepts.


Prerequisites: Surely a previous knowledge of the history of Greek and Latin philosophy (from VIth Century b.C. to 529 a.D.) allows to work easier within this scientific field: however it is not compulsory. The same can be said as to ancient Greek language. Better,an attention to lexical research and an interest in a critical reading of philosophical texts are very useful.

Contenuto del corso: “Eros’ power. Reflections on the so-called theory of Platonic love”. The course aims at focussing from a philosophical perspective the well known and often misunderstood ‘theory of Platonic love’. We will read and reflect upon the related texts (first on the myths of androgynous and of Eros’ birth in the Symposium, as well on the myth of the winged chariot in the Phaedrus). We aim at showing that this ‘theory’, in its original version, with regard both for the form expressing it (myth), both for its anthropological and ontological content, is not a simple ornament of Plato’s philosophy: it really agrees with the basis of his thought (theories of ideas and of soul), it advances important points of the Western anthropology and also includes some interesting revivable features.

Teacing methods: The course will be carried on by frontal lessons, with direct reading of the texts and following discussions. Therefore attendance at classes will be very useful and desirable, though obviously not compulsory.
The same program is valid for students who cannot attend lessons; nevertheless, they must get in touch with the teacher, in order to receive indications on adding texts, whose reading will compensate for lacking attendance: these texts will be agreed for every student, with regard to his previous knowledge, curriculum and interests.

Assessment methods and criteria

Some oral questions will be put to the student; he will be invited to read and comment some passages of the original texts already read together during classes. As to the monographical part of the course, the student can choose also to write a brief paper (5-10 pp.) on some subjects discussed together, or on some passages read together during classes: this relation will be orally discussed during the exam.