- History of Philosophy
Aristotle is not just a famous ancient philosopher of notable historical interest. He first distinguished and practiced several of the natural and social sciences we are still practicing today, and considered under what conditions they could contribute to one another. In this advanced history course we read relevant portions of Aristotle alongside modern scholarship with the purpose of understanding and discussing the following topics: the grounds for differentiating and combining sciences; the physics and physiology of empiricism; the relation between method and practice in biology; the status of artifacts; the status of women and slaves in Aristotle’s social philosophy; and his format for a rational theology. Every week we shall also pay attention to some of the impact Aristotle’s ideas have had in later centuries, to this very day.
Students who successfully complete the course will have a good understanding of:
the different parts of Aristotle’s philosophy in their original context
factors that influence the reception of a philosophical text and thereby the historical development of philosophy.
Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:
read and interpret more complex primary texts;
assess differences and agreements between philosophical positions and arguments;
reconstruct debates on the interpretation of Aristotle;
critically assess modern secondary literature on Aristotle;
argue convincingly for his/her own interpretation of Aristotle’s texts
critically assess and develop applications of ancient philosophy to global challenges today
Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2023-2024 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.
Mode of instruction
lectures with discussion (max 2 hours per week)
(group) discussion of primary and secondary literature starting from questions provided with the readings, with additional assessments / questions / arguments arising from the student’s own reading
Participation in class (10%), Ongoing
Weekly assignments (6*10%), Ongoing
Essay (30%), Week 8
Access to the Complete Works of Aristotle (ed. Barnes):
Volume 1: https://catalogue.leidenuniv.nl/permalink/f/1e3kn0k/TN_cdi_askewsholts_vlebooks_9781400835843
Volume 2: https://catalogue.leidenuniv.nl/permalink/f/1e3kn0k/TN_cdi_askewsholts_vlebooks_9781400835850
Additional literature will be indicated in the syllabus.
Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prof.dr. Frans de Haas, email@example.com
Contact: appointment scheduled by email after class