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PHM5070 - The Greeks and the good Life

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dirk Baltzly


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit will survey 1000 years of Greek philosophical thought on the nature of the soul and psychic well-being, from the presocratics to late antiquity. It will stress the role of the ancient philosophical schools as practitioners of psychotherapy, for in antiquity the object of understanding the psyche was to utilise this knowledge in order to live the good life. Students will be encouraged to develop essay topics that explore the ways in which these ideas have influenced later thought about the nature of mental states and the achievement of mental well-being.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will: 1 Possess a broad familarity with a variety of ancient views the nature of the soul and well-being; 2 Be able to read complex and difficult primary texts in ancient philosophy (in translation); 3 Be able to understand secondary literature in ancient Greek philosophy; 4 Be able to use research tools such as Philosophers Index, Perseus, Thesaurus Linguae Graeca, etc to identify secondary articles and other primary that are relevant to an issue; 5 Be able to examine and criticise arguments for competing positions; 6 Be able to develop and defend their own position on some specific issues within those areas.


Research proposal (2000 words) : 10%
Seminar presentation (1000 words) : 10%
First draft of essay (4000 words) : 10%
Revised essay (2000 (addtl) words) : 65%
Seminar participation 5%

Contact hours

1 x 2 hour seminar