Greek Philosophy: Foundation of Western Thought

Bella Vivante
Fridays 10 AM - 12 PM (AZ Time)
September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 18, December 2, and 9, 2022
Watch the video to learn more about this course

Greek Philosophy: Foundation of Western Thought

Fall 2022
In Session
10 AM - 12 PM (AZ Time)
September 23, 30, October 7, 14, 21, 28, November 4, 18, December 2, and 9, 2022


Main Campus



Attend In Person OR Online

About 2600 years ago, an "Intellectual Revolution" shifted Greek thinking from mythic world descriptions to observational ones. The first group of thinkers in this new era lived in eastern Greece and started new directions in math and sciences. The next group, notably including Pythagoras, moved from eastern to western Greece and into theological inquiries. Pythagoras's philosophy meshed mathematical, moral, and theological ideas and influenced Plato and the development of Western philosophy for 1000 years. Here, we encounter new ethical, rhetorical, and logical modes of thought along with the diverse views 
of the Cynics, Hedonists, Sophists, and Stoics. We'll read Plato's Symposium – featuring Socrates – which vividly presents his iconic theory of Ideas and Aristotle's key ethical ideas.
 It will be a fascinating and illuminating journey through the diverse landscapes that enabled the development of Western philosophic thinking to flourish.

Hybrid Course Format

  • All classes will be delivered in-person and online via live video streaming. Students will enroll in their preferred format during registration.
  • In-person classes will be held in the Rubel Room at the University of Arizona's Poetry Center (1508 E Helen St, Tucson, AZ 85721). Enrollment for in-person classes is limited by classroom capacity and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. All students attending on-campus will observe the relevant University of Arizona policies designed to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 (more information here). Students who enroll to participate in person will also have complete online access to the course, including all class recordings.   
  • Online students may attend all classes via live video streaming and will be able to participate in all course Q&A sessions with the professor in real-time. Students may also access class recordings for a limited time to assist those who may not be able to attend the live class times. Online access will be password protected and only available to enrolled students.

Registration Will Open Online:
Monday, August 29, 2022, at 8 AM (AZ Time)

Required Reading: 

  • Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle, 5th ed., ed. S. Marc Cohen, Patricia Curd, & C.D.C. Reeve. Hackett Publishing Co. 2016, Paper.
  •  Additional readings available on the HSP learning portal.

Course Registration

Meet Your Professor

Professor Emerita
Department of Religious Studies and Classics

Honored to receive 2018’s Ted & Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award, Bella brings her enthusiastic love of Ancient Greek poetry and culture to her HSP classes: Homer’s brilliant epics, select themes in Greek drama, Ancient Anatolia, more. See this dynamic antiquity in her Daughters of Gaia: Women in the Ancient Mediterranean, translation of Euripides’s Helen in Women on the Edge: Four Plays by Euripides, or Women and Family in Ancient Greece DVD.

  • Ted and Shirley Taubeneck Superior Teaching Award


Poetry Center
Dorothy Rubel Room
1508 E Helen
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States
Located on the SE corner of Helen Street and Vine Avenue, one block north of Speedway and three blocks west of Campbell Ave.

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