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Lectures / Disk 5


Great Minds of the Western Intellectual Tradition (Part I, Classical Origins)
Featuring Various Professors

DISK 5.1 
Lecture 1: Introduction/Staloff
In this lecture Philosophy is described as a historical discipline which is subject to change over time. A historical account is given illustrating that different epochs are concerned with different issues and philosophic questions.

Lecture 2: The Pre-Socratics-Physics and Metaphysis/Markos
This lecture explores the pre-Socratics, those who proceeded Socrates chronologically. They laid the framework that Socrates and later Plato and Aristotle developed. These philosophers shifted the focus from the religious questions of ‘who’ and ‘why’ to the scientific questions of ‘what’ and ‘how’ setting off a discussion that still continues today.

Lecture 3: The Sophists and Social Science/Adams
This lecture deals with the Sophists of the 5th and 6th centuries. They were professional teachers who tried to meet the educational needs of the citizens of the Greek city-states (polis). In many ways they are the forerunners of the modern professional intellectual, scientist or humanist.

Lecture 4: Plato - Metaphysics/Cary
Undoubtedly Plato is the most intellectual philosopher in the West, the founding figure of Metaphysics. Although there were philosophers before him (the pre-Socratics), his writings were the first that founded a lasting Western philosophy.

Lecture 5: Plato – Politics/Dalton
What is the meaning of Justice? This is the question that Plato poses throughout The Republic to define the right conduct for the individual and the city. In this lecture Plato’s theories of justice, power and leadership are described through an analysis of his work.

Lecture 6: Plato - Psychology/Cary
If the original meaning of psychology is ‘discussion about the soul’ then by this definition Plato was the most influential psychologist of all time. He was the inventor of the body/soul dualism; an immortal soul and a material body. A remarkable lecture explaining the deep truth of our being.

DISK 5.2 
Lecture 7: Aristotle - Metaphysics/Cary
This lecture deals with Aristotle, Plato’s student and one of the most influential philosophers. He criticized Plato’s theory of forms and he modified Plato’s nation of form to create a science of nature of physics. In this lecture his main ideas are presented in order to explain the nature of this change.

Lecture 8: Aristotle – Politics/Dalton
This lecture discusses the three reforms or ‘waves’ of change posed by Aristotle in criticizing Plato’s Republic. One of the three ‘waves’ of change asserted that Plato was wrong to contend that women could or should be rulers of a state.

Lecture 9: Aristotle – Ethics/Cary
Aristotle was the first philosopher to define the field of ethics even though Plato had dealt with most of the issues already. This lecture discusses all four ‘cardinal virtues’; courage, temperance, justice and practical wisdom.

Lecture 10: Stoicism and Epicureanism/Adams
Two philosophical traditions are discussed in this lecture that emerged from the legacy of Plato and Aristotle. These were Epicureanism and Stoicism which arose in the 4th century B.C. Epicureanism was the more elite of the two while Stoicism was more adaptable to the needs of ordinary people.

Lecture 11: Roman Eclecticism – Cicero and Polybius/Adams
This lecture deals with the Roman philosophers who drew on various schools and traditions, such as the Greek schools. It particularly focuses on one of the most influential Roman philosophers, Marcus Tullius Cicero.

Lecture 12: Roman Skepticism – Sextus Empiricus/Adams
Skepticism was a philosophical traditon like Epicureanism and Stoicism which spread throughout the Hellenistic world. The central issues along with the most influential teachers of Skepticism are discussed in this lecture.

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