2023-2024 / PHIL0009-1

History of Ancient philosophy


45h Th

Number of credits

 Bachelor in ancient languages and literatures : classics5 crédits 
 Bachelor in philosophy5 crédits 
 Master in ancient and modern languages and literatures (120 ECTS)5 crédits 


Marc-Antoine Gavray

Language(s) of instruction

French language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the first semester, review in January


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

Presentation of the main philosophical streams, from the Presocratics to Aristotle.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

The course aims at giving the basic knowledge of both the particular concepts and way of thinking in ancient philosophy, and the influence it had on the history of philosophy until now.

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

References are made to the main Greek notions, but no knowledge of Ancient Greek is required.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

This course introduces the doctrines of the main authors of this era. Each week is devoted to an author, a school or a particular topic. Issues that will be dealt with:

  • Ionians
  • Pythagoreans
  • Eleatics
  • Empedocles, Anaxagoras, and Democritus
  • Sophists
  • Socrates
  • Plato (dialectic, Ideas, recollection, philosophy of nature, ethics, politics)
  • Aristotle (theôria, praxis, poiêsis)
Every week, students are asked to prepare one or several chapter of the syllabus. The first hour is devoted to answer their questions and to develop some more difficult issues. The next two hours are dedicated to the reading of texts and to the practice of the history of Ancient philosophy.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face course

Additional information:

This is a first-term course. It takes place on Monday, 4-7 pm (from 18.09.2022, room Philo I).

Recommended or required readings

Students will be provided with a collection of texts, documents, summaries and bibliography from the first lesson. A syllabus is available at the Espace ULiège Opéra.

Complementary texts will be given according to the progress of the course.

Oral exam in January.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course

The syllabus is almost the same as in 2022-2023, and can be used again in 2023-2024.

Extra texts and documents will be available on eCampus.


Marc-Antoine Gavray Department of Philosophy Place du 20 Août, 7, bat. A1 4000 Liège
Tel.+32 (0)4 366 92 00 e-mail: Marc-Antoine.Gavray@uliege.be

Association of one or more MOOCs

Items online

Handbook on History of ancient philosophy
Dear students,

Please find here the handbook on History of ancient philosophy. You can buy a printed version at the Presses de l'Université de Liège shop.

Enjoy your reading,

Marc-Antoine Gavray