History of Ancient Philosophy

Notes for understanding what the philosophers were thinking


A History of Ancient Philosophy
This is a set of notes about the philosophical discussion in the Greek and Roman world that took place in the period from roughly 585 to 100 BCE. The focus is on Socrates and the reaction to him in Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, and the Academics.

An Investigation into the Origin of the Notion of Free Will
This is a set of notes about the first six chapters of Michael Frede's A Free Will. Frede argues that no one had notions of the will or free will before the late Stoics. The notes reconstruct his argument and raise a question about the notion of will he attributes to Epictetus.

Hellenistic Epistemology
This is a set of notes about one of the most famous debates in the history of philosophy: the debate between the Stoics and the Academics about the nature and possibility of knowledge. The focus is historical. It is to understand what these philosophers thought and how their thoughts fit into the history of Ancient philosophy from Socrates to Sextus Empiricus.



These notes are far from perfect, but I make them available because most of the information I have found online is not detailed enough to explain what the Ancient philosophers thought.

If there are more online notes out there, I am happy to post links to them here.

The ones I know are S. Marc Cohen's notes for his Ancient philosophy course at the University of Washington and Sally Haslanger's notes for her course at MIT.

Peter Adamson host a series of podcasts at History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps.

Susan Sauvé Meyer gives lectures on Ancient philosophy for Coursera, but they are walled.