Greek Reading Seminar

Course Level: 
Course Open to: 
Students on-site
Academic Year: 
US Credits: 
ECTS Credits: 
Course Description: 

The primary aim of this course is an in-depth discussion of the central chapters of Book IV (Book Γ) of Aristotle’s Metaphysics, a key text of ontology, where Aristotle reassesses his former (anti-Platonic) commitment that there is no common genus of being – instead being is homonymously divided into the ten largest classes of categories – and hence there can be no science of beings in so far as they are beings. In this work Aristotle argues that a science of substances can at the same time serve as a general ontology. After the first two chapters Aristotle turns to establish some fundamental thesis this science has to discuss – the principle of non-contradiction and the principle of excluded middle. As these are principles any demonstration will have to use, there can be no demonstration of them. Instead, Aristotle goes on to argue that any science, and body of knowledge will have to observe these most general principles.

Learning Outcomes: 

By the end of the course students will be expected to have made progress in their Greek reading skills and their abilities to analyse and discuss ancient philosophical texts. They will also be expected to broaden their knowledge of the philosophy of Aristotle and his critical stance of earlier philosophers, most particularly, his criticism of Plato.


• level of preparation (taking into account the level of knowledge of Greek at the beginning of the term) 50 %

• participation in the discussions 30 %

• position statements 20 %


For the reading of the Metaphysics some preliminary knowledge of Greek is required, on the basis of which we will read and translate the text, and give an in depth analysis of the philosophical considerations.