Students will examine primary texts by Plato and Aristotle as well as the arguments of presocratic philosophers, and Plato and Aristotle’s followers. We will examine ancient answers to philosophical questions about the meaning of life, the nature of God, the universe and human beings, and the nature and limits of knowledge. In every case, we will consider these arguments as historical artifacts and evaluate them as positions we might adopt today.


Students will learn to articulate clear positions, explain how key concepts are related, and to understand the value of philosophy for all students. This course will help students by examining systematic answers about what constitutes a successful life. Students will study (purportedly) coherent patterns of ideas.

Submitting Essays

Send me your essays as a PDF. Attach the paper to an e-mail (do not send as the body of an e-mail) and send it to Mail your paper from the account at which you would like to receive it when I return them. Names your document with your email userid and the number of the essay. So, for example, the document on the desktop would be called “cciocchetti1.pdf.” You, of course, have a different userid. Papers that are not named correctly will be penalized up to 10%.

MLA Format

All assignments should conform to MLA format. Failure to cite properly can lead to an Honor Code violation even if unintentional. Less seriously, failure to conform to MLA format could have serious consequences for your grade on that assignment, e.g., a deduction of 10%, 20% or even 50%. If you have questions, ask.

Grading Scale

Your grade will be calculated according to the follow grading scale:
A 100-90%
B 89-80%
C 79-70%
D 69-60%
F 0-59%

Late Assignments

Late assignments will not be graded and will receive a 0% unless excused by me prior to the deadline. The only exceptions will be for emergencies that could not have been dealt with prior to the missed assignment. Quite simply, it is unfair to the class to give you extra time on an assignment without good reason.

Honor Code

All work in this class will be bound by the Honor Code. It is cheating to make use of other’s ideas without acknowledging their contribution. I am trusting that the work you hand in is your own. Violations of that trust will be dealt with severely. If you are unsure whether an activity constitutes cheating, ask.

Disability Services

It is the policy of Centenary College to accommodate students with disabilities, pursuant to federal law, state law, and the College's commitment to equal educational opportunities. Any student with a disability who needs accommodations, for example in seating placement or in arrangements for examinations, should inform the instructor at the beginning of the course. Students with disabilities need to contact Disability Services (a division of Counseling Services), which is located in the ground floor of Rotary Hall to obtain services. Telephone 318-869-5466 x5424.