Course in Greek Philosophy: The art of Living


Program Description

The art of living

“Greek Philosophy: the art of living” is not just another course on ancient Greek philosophy.

Apart from presenting the philosophy of ancient Greeks, it brings the past to the present, by adjusting the teachings of the philosophers to the problems one may face today, in order to offer a new perspective and therefore a different way of coping with them.

Greek philosophy emerged from observing life in order to help people live better.

It provides us the intellectual equipment for dealing successfully with multiple situations in our everyday life. Its teachings apply even today, and they are used widely.

For example, the philosophies of Aristotle and Plato are analyzed in Business Ethics, in order to teach managers how to run their organizations better.

Even Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple, used Aristotle’s tools of persuasion (ethos, pathos, logos) from conferences to TV interviews.

This online course which is part of the Arts and Culture category, will not just introduce you to the thought of Heraclitus, Democritus, Socrates and of other philosophers.

It will give you alternatives to living a good life in a world of dazzling change.

Participant Profile

The programme is addressed to anyone who wants not only to learn what the ancient Greek philosophers taught but also to philosophize on modern life through ancient Greek philosophy.

Programme Aims

The programme “Greek Philosophy: the art of living” exceeds the scope of an ordinary course on ancient Greek philosophy. Its aim is not just to bring participants in touch with the ancient Greek philosophical intellect –the source of Western civilization– from the dawn of philosophical thought until the advent of Christianity; it also aims to connect ancient Greek philosophy with modern life, as well as highlight the ways in which Greek philosophy can improve our everyday lives.

Programme Description

Lesson 1 Why philosophy? Why ancient Greek philosophy?

What is the role of philosophy in our lives, and the importance of ancient Greek philosophy in particular?

Lesson 2 From myth to reason

The transition from mythological to rational thinking and the birth of philosophy in ancient Greece.

Lesson 3 The first philosophers

I. Thales
II. Anaximander
III. Anaximenes

The first philosophers, living in a world at the threshold of reason, gave the first rational answers for the creation of the Kosmos (world) and the emergence of man.

Lesson 4 Pythagoras

An outstanding figure of the ancient Greek world, Pythagoras shaped a philosophy with strong religious elements and created a philosophical community, that lived by its own rules.

Lesson 5 Heraclitus

The "obscure" aristocrat philosopher, whom even the ancients had difficulty to understand. Heraclitus is the philosopher who praised war and fire, and even today is held in high esteem.

Lesson 6 The Eleatics

I. Xenophanes
II. Parmenides
III. Zeno – Melissus

Their common origin, as well as the commonalities in their philosophical thought, do not obscure the differences in their thought, the uniqueness of their philosophy and the paradoxes used to defend their philosophical positions.

Lesson 7 The other Presocratics

I. Empedocles
II. Anaxagoras
III. Leucippus – Democritus

The last pre-Socratic philosophers are equally important, as they offer different interpretations of the world, some of which have been restated in modern times.

Lesson 8 Socrates – Sophists

Socrates is the figure that changed the course of philosophical thought. His adversaries, the Sophists, focused on teaching and commenced a dynamic and productive philosophical debate on key issues.

Lesson 9 Plato

Pupil of Socrates, and one of the most prominent philosophers of all times; his influence is intense even today.

Lesson 10 Aristotle

The most distinguished of Plato's pupils, who taught us how to think logically and do research scientifically.

Last updated May 2019

About the School

The Supplementary Distance Education Programme (E-Learning) of The Center of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in operation since 2001, ... Read More

The Supplementary Distance Education Programme (E-Learning) of The Center of Continuing Education and Lifelong Learning of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, in operation since 2001, provides distance education programmes that link theoretical and academic knowledge to the practical and applied skills required in their respective professional fields. Read less