PP2AP-Ancient Philosophy

Module Provider: Philosophy
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof David Oderberg

Email: d.s.oderberg@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
A module devoted to the study of Aristotle’s classic work The Politics.

This module will introduce you to ancient philosophy through a study of the greatest of the Greek philosophers, Aristotle. We will look at his famous work on ethics and political philosophy, The Politics.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module you will:
• have a detailed understanding of Aristotle’s book The Politics.
• understand the basic outlines of Aristotle’s moral and political philosophy.
• have been introduced to Aristotle’s philosophy in general.
• have a grasp of some of the classic problems in ancient philosophy, particularly in moral and political philosophy.
• be able to relate what you have learned to some of the traditional and contemporary problems of moral and political philosophy.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:
The module text is S. Everson (ed. and trans.), Aristotle: The Politics and the Constitution of Athens , Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought (Cambridge Univ. Press, 1996).

Recommended vacation reading:
1.J. Barnes, Aristotle: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000)
2.Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (any edition, e.g. Oxford World’s Classics edition, trans. Ross and ed. Brown, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009)

The module will cover the following topics:
•Origins of the state
•Natural slavery
•Aristotle’s critique of Plato
•Types of political organization
•Who is a citizen?
•Political power
•Monarchies good and bad
•Democracy, oligarchy, aristocracy, tyranny
•The ideal state

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The module will consist of 20 lectures (2 per week) and a weekly seminar. Each seminar will be devoted to discussing an important article on a topic from the Politics. Each student will be expected to make (on their own or with others) a short presentation of the article, designed to stimulate class discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 60
Written assignment including essay 30
Oral assessment and presentation 10

Other information on summative assessment:
Two essays of 1500-2000 words, worth 15% each, and an oral presentation worth 10%.

Electronic Submission
All coursework should be submitted electronically via Blackboard.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One two-hour examination worth 60%, in which you must answer two questions from a choice of six.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August by written examination only.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 9 January 2017

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