KR023 Hellenistic Philosophy

Faculty of Arts
Autumn 2020
Extent and Intensity
2/0/0. 4 credit(s). Type of Completion: z (credit).
Taught online.
Mgr. Juraj Franek, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
Mgr. Juraj Franek, Ph.D.
Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Supplier department: Department of Classical Studies - Faculty of Arts
Mon 10:00–11:40 A21
The completion of the course KR022 The Classical Greek Philosophy is a plus, but by no means a necessary requirement for enrollment.
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 60 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 6/60, only registered: 0/60, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/60
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
there are 7 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
The course serves as an introduction to the Greek philosophy of the Hellenistic period. Lectures are complemented with readings and discussions of the primary texts.
Following the successful completion of the course, studnents will have obtained an orientation in the works of the most important figures of Hellenistic philosophical schools (Epicureism, Skepticism, Stoicism). Some attention will be dedicated also to the Roman authors writing in Latin (Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca).
Reading of the primary literature will serve as an introduction to the fundamental fields of systematic philosophy (ontology, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy).
Learning outcomes
Following the successful completion of the course, the student will be able to:
- provide an overview of the changing political climate of the Hellenistic age and its relation to the form and contents of the great philosophical schools;
- describe Epicurus' philosophy and its connection with the atomism of Leucippus and Democritus;
- summarize the epistemology of the Skeptical school;
- identify main tenets of the Stoics, especially in the domains of logic, philosophy of language, natural philosophy and ethics;
- describe and evaluate the reception of Greek hellenistic philosophy in Rome.
  • 1. General introduction to the Greek philosophy of the Hellenistic period.
  • 2. Epicurus and his schools.
  • 3. Epicureism: Ontology, epistemology, ethics.
  • 4. Skepticism I: Pyrrho and Timon.
  • 5. Skepticism II: Arcesilaus and Carneades.
  • 6. Stoa I: Introduction, logic and the philosophy of language.
  • 7. Stoa II: Natural philosophy.
  • 8. Stoa III: Ethics.
  • 9. Philosophy in Rome I: Lucretius and the metamorphoses of Epicureism.
  • 10. Philosophy in Rome II: Cicero, Skepticism and eclecticism.
  • 11. Philosophy in Rome III: Seneca and Stoicism.
  • 12. Concluding remarks.
    required literature
  • Díogenés Laertios: Životy, názory a výroky proslulých filosofů. Pelhřimov: Nová tiskárna 1995.
  • Zlomky starých stoikov. Bratislava: Pravda 1984.
  • Epiktétos: Rukojeť - Rozpravy. Praha: Svoboda 1972.
  • Titus Lucretius Carus: O přírodě. Praha: Svoboda 1971.
  • Marcus Tullius Cicero: Tuskulské hovory. Praha: Svoboda 1976.
  • Lucius Annaeus Seneca: Výbor z listů Luciliovi. Praha: Svoboda 1969.
  • Long, A. A.: Hellénistická filosofie. Praha: Oikoymenh 2003.
    recommended literature
  • Mas, S. (2011). Sabios y necios: Una aproximación a la filosofía helenística. Madrid: Alianza.
  • Sharples, R. W. (1996). Stoics, Epicureans and Sceptics: An introduction to Hellenistic Philosophy. Abingdon - New York: Routledge.
  • Long, A. A. (2006). From Epicurus to Epictetus: Studies in Hellenistic and Roman Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Festugière, A.-J. (1996). Epikúros a jeho bohové. Praha: Oikoymenh.
  • Reale, G. (2004). Storia della filosofia greca e romana, vol. V: Cinismo, epicureismo e stoicismo. Milano: Bompiani.
  • Algra, K. - Barnes, J. - Mansfeld, J. - Schofield, M. (eds.) (1999). The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rist, J. M. (1998). Stoická filosofie. Praha: Oikoymenh.
  • Long, A. A. (2002). Epictetus: A Stoic and Socratic Guide to Life. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  • Long, A. A. - Sedley, D. N. (eds.) (1987). The Hellenistic Philosophers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Woolf, R. (2015). Cicero: The Philosophy of a Roman Sceptic. London - New York: Routledge.
  • Sedley, D. (1998). Lucretius and the Transformation of Greek Wisdom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gale, M. R. (ed.) (2007). Oxford Readings in Classical Studies: Lucretius. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Gillespie, S. - Hardie, P. (eds.) (2007). The Cambridge Companion to Lucretius. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bartsch, S. - Schiesaro, A. (eds.) (2015). The Cambridge Companion to Seneca. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Teaching methods
The course is a combination of lectures and class discussions. Systematic home reading and preparation for clases is necessary requirement for the successful completion of the course.
Assessment methods
Multiple-choice written test (pass mark = 70%).
Language of instruction
Follow-Up Courses
Further Comments
Study Materials
The course is taught once in two years.

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