More than 2,500 years later, the fundamental questions asked by the ancient Greeks continue to challenge, fascinate, and instruct us. Is reality stable and permanent or is it always changing? Are ethical values like justice and courage relative? What is justice? What is happiness? How shall we best live our lives?
In this series of 24 lectures, Professor Roochnik invites you to join this eternal discussion. You'll study the development of Greek philosophy, meet its major thinkers, and explore the issues and ideas that concerned them, from the Pre-Socratic concerns with "Being" to the staggering contributions of Plato and Aristotle.Alfred North Whitehead, the great 20th-century British philosopher, said, "The safest general characterization of the European philosophical tradition is that it consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." In the Middle Ages, Aristotle was held in such high esteem that he was simply known as "the philosopher."
In this course, you not only learn about Greek philosophy but, to some extent, how to do it. Professor Roochnik emphasizes that Greek philosophy is ultimately not about facts or answers but about the give-and-take of ideas. By joining the conversation, you will come away with a new appreciation for how Greek philosophy still heavily influences our view of life.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.
©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.
I'll listen to any lecture given by Prof. Roochnik. His knowledge is equalled only by his ability to convey the information is simple easy to understand terms. A great teacher!
Like many of the courses in this series, it lives up to its name. It is great. The professor is top notch, and even though I have completed graduate work in philosophy I still learned a great deal. The learnings came from putting things in a larger perspective given this professor's immense background, and also learning A bit more about some of the thinkers with which I was already familiar.
Underhand's chief engineer
I have to admit some bias for these lectures. You're basically getting a semester's worth of classroom lectures for under $30 per course. This introduction to Greek philosophy was fantastic and engaging, though the last couple hours were somewhat tedious to get through.
Thoreau's 'Walden' and Ayn Rand's 25th anniversary introduction to 'The Fountainhead' summarize my library well.
I bought this title after reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, to further explore the topics presented in that book.
"An Introduction to Greek Philosophy" is an excellent--if not essential--companion to ZMM. Prof. Roochnik covers a wide body of ancient works clearly and efficiently. He also references numerous other A.D. philosophers throughout his lectures, creating new paths of exploration for you if you enjoyed this title.
Perhaps my largest takeway was Roochnik's urging to take the side of the philosopher before offering your own critique, no matter how ludicrous their writings initially sound. Sound advice outside, as well as inside, the classroom. Other personal takeaways I enjoyed include:
- The Pre-Socratics (more enjoyable than I initially thought they would be)
- Relativism vs. Absolutism
- Plato's Forms
- Aristotle's God: "God does not love, because God does not hate."
The entry/exit of each chapter is laughable--I don't remember attending any college course that opened each lecture with a string quartet and a rousing ovation. Don't let that skew your perception of the quality of the material covered. This title was well worth the cost of an Audible credit (and -way- cheaper than the equivalent university credit).
The professor's cadence in speaking made it difficult for me to get engaged. At times he sounded like a robot. Which is a shame because based on some of the examples he provided during his lectures he certainly has a sense of humor, some personality, and perhaps the kind of guy which you'd like to go out for a drink. However, I just couldn't get into the conversation. The whole thing just seemed too slow. The pace of the insight was also slow...too far and between and he kept providing too many examples for what seemed like easy concepts. Overall I wouldn't recommend this course but lecture 21 on Aristotle's "God" was the most interesting.
"Excellent introduction to Greek philosophy"
Ranking it against other great courses as it is not a book. Great introduction to Greek does not go into too much detail, but enough to get on with at the moment. I have to say i have heard it said that the best way to understand philosophy is not to read the books but to have is spoken to you and i would certainly agree with that position
Socrates - constantly asking what is ???
Liked his enthusiasm
Great intro to a difficult but worthwhile subject
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