Students are expected to identify the main figures, their philosophical claims in historical background, and the arguments presented in support of those claims. Moreover, they should also be able to develop historical awareness of philosophical problems while at the same time understanding the methods of systematic philosophical analysis.
This course offers an introduction to history of philosophical thought by examining a selection of classical authors, namely Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, William of Ockham, Descartes, Kant. The focus is on epistemology, moral psychology, and political philosophy.
Completion method is online examination in Examinarium. First enroll in WebOodi. Then make the time and place reservation in Examinarium: https://guide.student.helsinki.fi/en/article/taking-exams-examinarium-electronic-exam-rooms
Please note that this study unit is currently being offered as a lecture course every academic year, so students are advised to take part in it. Note also that this is a 5 credit study unit, which corresponds in the Bologna requirements to 125 study hours (25 hours = 1 credit). Please contact the responsible person well in advance of the exam date if you wish to agree on a more specific reading list.
- Plato, Theaetetus; and The Republic (books VII and IX), in Complete Works, ed. J.M. Cooper. Hackett, 1997.
- Aristotle, On the Soul, transl. Hamlyn. Clarendon, books II and III.
- Augustine, On the Free Choice of the Will, transl. P. King. CUP.
- Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, transl. T. Suttor. CUP, Ia, questions 75-79.
- William of Ockham, Philosophical Writings, ed. and transl. P. Boehner. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1990, Sections I-III.
- Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy, in The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, transl. J. Cottingham, R. Stoothoff, and D. Murdoch. CUP
- J. Lear, Aristotle’s Desire to Understand. CUP, 1988, especially chapters 1-4.
- G. Matthews, Augustine. Oxford: Blackwell, 2005.
- E. Stump, Aquinas. London-New York: Routledge, 2003, especially chapters 1-2, 6-8.
- K. Detlefsen (ed.), Descartes’s Meditations. A Critical Guide. CUP.
Written exam or essay. Scale 0–5.
Participation in at least 75% of the sessions is required. Students are expected to read the primary sources, always given in English translation. Written examination or alternatively essay.