The intended purpose of this Topics Seminar is for the participating student (1) to become familiar with positions taken in the current debates over the specific topic area of the course; (2) to appreciate the arguments for and against the positions; and (3) to develop an independent judgment about the most promising approach in this area. |
Specifically the course aims to provide: A firm grasp of the main theories presented: their nature and motivation, their differences and similarities; enhancement of the students’ ability to study and analyse the classical sources within their original context; improvement of skills in handling the scholarly literature and in using the material so as to be able to give an oral presentation and write an academic essay on a subject chosen in consultation with the professor.
This “Topics Seminar” explores in depth various texts related to a topic in the philosophy of the Hellenistic and Roman periods, periods that include such schools as Stoicism, Epicureanism, Scepticism and Cynicism.|
The specific topic and instructor(s) for the coming year will be announced in the spring.
Previous topic (2016-17): Philosophical and Medical Perspectives on Emotion (Epicurus, Galen, and the Stoics) Contemporary philosophy witnesses an upsurge of interest in so-called cognitive theories (and therapies) of emotion, i.e. theories that view human emotion as (essentially, or in its core) a mode of thought. In Graeco-Roman antiquity most theories of emotion were cognitive in this sense. The most radical and sophisticated theory was developed by the Stoics and encapsulated in their dictum “emotions are judgments” (i.e. mistaken judgements). In this course we trace back the cognitivist approach to its Hellenistic sources, using both primary texts and secondary literature. The Stoa will hold centre stage: Chrysippus, Posidonius, Seneca, Epictetus. But we shall also consider the position held by their great opponent Epicurus and his followers and the attitude of Cynics and Sceptics. Moreover, we shall study the emotion theory of the doctor-cum-philosopher Galen of Pergamum (129-216). In addition, we shall take a closer look at those present-day positions and debates that fall back on, and in certain ways continue, the classic, cognitivist tradition.
This course is for Students History and Philosophy of Science, RMA Philosophy. Students of other MA-programmes, please contact the Course Coordinator.
The entrance requirements for Exchange Students will be checked by International Office and the Programme coördinator. Therefore, you do not have to contact the Programme coördinator yourself.