Ancient Philosophy (V5015)

15 credits, Level 5

Autumn teaching

In this module we will look at some central themes in the works of Plato, concentrating especially on ethics and metaphysics. We will examine the attempts to define virtues in some supposedly early dialogues, and the central Socratic ethical claim that it is impossible to do wrong knowingly. These issues will be pursued into the central moral argument of the Republic. We will also look at the so-called 'theory of forms' as it appears in various dialogues, including (especially) the Republic and the criticisms of it which are made in the Parmenides. We will consider Plato's philosophy of art in connection with the theory of forms.


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


100%: Coursework (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 150 hours of work. This breaks down into about 22 hours of contact time and about 128 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

This module is running in the academic year 2020/21. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. However, we are constantly looking to improve and enhance our courses. There may be changes to modules in response to student demand or feedback, changes to staff expertise or updates to our curriculum. We may also need to make changes in response to COVID-19. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: