Fakultät für Philosophie, Wissenschaftstheorie und Religionswissenschaft

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Lehrveranstaltungen Sommersemester 2022


Stoic metaphysics

Mi. 12:00 bis 14:00 c.t. woch 27.04.2022 bis 27.07.2022 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (A) - A U117

In this course, we will study the sophisticated materialist metaphysics of the ancient Stoics. In opposition to their predecessors Plato and Aristotle, the Stoics rejected the existence of immaterial forms and ideas; they supposed that only bodies can act or be acted on, and even insisted that only bodies exist. We will critically investigate inter alia the ontology of the Stoic system; its first principles; the Stoic theories of categories and causation; as well as Stoic thinking about universals. Our focus will be the mature system of thought associated with the third head of the Stoic school, Chrysippus. We will read and analyze ancient evidence of Stoic thinking, along with contemporary scholarship. Our primary text will be Long and Sedley’s collection, The Hellenistic Philosophers (available online through the university library). The class will be conducted in English and all our texts will be read in English; knowledge of ancient Greek or Latin is not required (though it will be an advantage).

term paper OR (presentation(s)+essay/record), according to the lecturer's specification [9 ECTS-points]

LSF-registration via the menu item "Vorlesungsverzeichnis" (=> click through after LSF login to the individual view of this course) sometime between 04 April 2022 and 19 April 2022.


Seminar und Lektürekurs

Human Nature and the Meaning of Life in Ancient Philosophy

Mo. 12:00 bis 14:00 c.t. woch 25.04.2022 bis 25.07.2022 Geschw.-Scholl-Pl. 1 (C) - C 022

What is a human being? How ought I live my life? These questions hold a central position in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. Moreover, the second question was typically understood by reference to the first: given what a human being is, how ought I live my life? Human nature was supposed to be a key reason why one ought to act in some ways rather than others, and why certain goals should be the ones to shape and structure one’s life. In this course, we study several ancient philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and the Stoics. We will examine and discuss their thinking on human nature and how we ought to live our lives, with an eye to understanding how and why, in the view of these philosophers, we ought to live our lives in certain ways and in pursuit of certain goals given what it is to be a human being. We shall, among other things, consider Plato’s thinking about death and the soul in the Phaedo; look at what the rationality of human nature means for the conduct of life according to Aristotle; discuss the Epicurean arguments against the fear of death; and investigate the striking claim made by the Stoics that being a good (virtuous) person is the only thing that matters in life. The course will be taught in English and all texts will be read in English translation.

In the modules assigned below (Bachelor major and minor in Philosophy): a) term paper (approx. 10-12 pages) OR b) graded presentation (15 minutes) + essay/record (approx. 6 pages), according to the lecturer's specification

Must be registered and prioritised at some point between 04.04.2022 and 19.04.2022 using the LSF system (via the menu item "Lehrveranstaltungen belegen/abmelden"). -- Enrolled Erasmus/Exchange students (philosophy) can register for this course (6 ECTS) directly via: Reier.Helle@lrz.uni-muenchen.de Please mention your LMU matriculation number.