MA Course History of Philosophy: Beauty and Truth (and the Good). The Aesthetics of Rational Being.


Course Objective

In order to successfully complete this course, the student needs to
- acquire knowledge of several ancient theories of beauty and of truth;
- gain insight into ancient views of the interrelation between beauty
and truth, and of the metaphysical and epistemological presuppositions
underlying those views.
After completion of this course, students will have further developed
their skills of textual analysis, of reflecting on and comparing the
theories expounded in (ancient) texts (in translation); evaluating
secondary literature on those texts; formulating their own questions on
and analyses of the material.

Course Content

This tutorial is all about ancient theories of beauty and truth and of
the interrelation between the two. Is beauty a signpost of truth? Or
does it lead us away from truth instead? What is the ancient notion of
beauty? How does it associate with, on the one hand, rationality and
truth, and, on the other hand, our perception and emotions? We will
trace the development of aesthetics from Plato down to the late ancient
commentators, and study the entrenchment of beauty and truth in ideas
concerning the nature of reality, knowledge, and human life.

Teaching Methods

Tutorial. Student participation: close reading of papers, and group

Method of Assessment

Twoweekly assignments (30%) and final essay (70%).


A selection of passages from primary texts (mainly Plato, Aristotle,
Plotinus, all in English translations) as well as papers and chapters
from secondary literature, details to be announced through Canvas.

Target Audience

(R)MA students of ACASA. Students in other MA's (esp. Philosophy and
Theology) may participate after permission from the teacher.

Additional Information

This course will be taught in English unless all participating students
have both active and passive knowledge of Dutch.
Late papers will not be accepted.

Recommended background knowledge

A completed BA in one of the disciplines of ACASA or in philosophy.
Students who wish to participate but do not fulfill the requirements
should contact the teacher before enrolling.

General Information

Course Code WM_ACASA01
Credits 6 EC
Period P5
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. M. Martijn
Examiner prof. dr. M. Martijn
Teaching Staff prof. dr. M. Martijn

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Lecture
Target audiences

This course is also available as: