Universität Wien FIND

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, changes to courses and exams may be necessary at short notice (e.g. cancellation of on-site teaching and conversion to online exams). Register for courses/exams via u:space, find out about the current status on u:find and on the moodle learning platform.

Further information about on-site teaching can be found at https://studieren.univie.ac.at/en/info.

180055 VO-L History of Philosophy I (Antiquity) (2020W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie



Language: German

Examination dates


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Monday 21.09. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Tuesday 22.09. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Thursday 24.09. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Friday 25.09. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Saturday 26.09. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 50 Hauptgebäude, 2.Stock, Stiege 8
Monday 23.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 5 Tiefparterre Hauptgebäude Stiege 9 Hof 5
Tuesday 24.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 32 Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 9
Wednesday 25.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal D Unicampus Hof 10 Hirnforschungzentrum Spitalgasse 4
Thursday 26.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 41 Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 8
Friday 27.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Saturday 28.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal I NIG Erdgeschoß
Monday 30.11. 15:00 - 16:30 Hörsaal 31 Hauptgebäude, 1.Stock, Stiege 9


Aims, contents and method of the course

The aim of these lectures is to review the History of Ancient Philosophy, but we will do so focusing on ancient cosmology and ontology. Ancient Philosophy begins with theorising about the world (kosmos). These theories address the questions of how the world has come about, which are the principles accounting for the world, and of what the world consists. These questions were for the first time systematically treated by Plato in his dialogue Timaios. In this dialogue we are presented with the view that the world has been created by God, an intellect, who is portrayed as a craftsman of the universe. Aristotle disputes that view and he argues instead that nature alone is responsible for the logical nature and maintainance of the world. The relevant theories of the Hellenistic philosophers, Stoics and the the Epicureans, are strongly influenced by the corresponding views of the Presocratics, Heraclitus and Democritus. Cosmology becomes particularly prominent in later ancient philosophy, because for the philosophers of that time, Platonists, Peripatetics, and early Christian philosophers, the topic of the origin and structure of the world bears much on the question of structure of the human being and the soul-body relation and also on ethics. This is because contemporary philosophers consider man both as part of the world and as small world (microcosm).

Assessment and permitted materials

written exam

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Familiarity with important ancient philosophical concepts, methods and arguments.
Main aim of the course is that students gain knowledge of ancient philosophy from the beginnings with the Presocratics and until Aristotle and that by the end of the course thez have understood the main philosophical questions that preoccupied ancient philosophers, especially questions regarding the structure of the world and of reality.

Examination topics

Cosmological and ontological theories from Plato to Plotinus

Reading list

C. Horn - C. Rapp (ed.), Wörterbuch der antiken Philosophie, Munich 2002
M. Erler, Platon, Munich 2006
T. Irwin, Classical Thought, Oxford 1989
C. Rapp, Aristoteles zur Einführung, Munich 2012 (revised edition)
D. Sedley, Creationism and its Critics in Antiquity, Berkeley 2007
Reader (Texts and anthology of literature available in Facultas)

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Mo 05.10.2020 10:09