The Soul as a Divine Fragment in Early Greek Philosophy

Available from January 15, 2018

About this course

What is the soul? Is the soul more divine than the material world? How is the soul related to God? This course explores the ways in which the earliest Greek philosophers, theologians, poets, and religious traditions sought to answer these and other questions about the rational principle of life within us. We will turn specifically to the writings of Homer, the Early Materialists, Heraclitus, Socrates, and Plotinus. We will also explore the Orphist religious tradition that set the background for these works.

Learning outcomes:

  • The doctrine of participation in Ancient Greek Philosophy, and how it relates to the soul
  • Socratic arguments for the transcendence of the human soul
  • Plato’s tripartite division of the parts of the soul
  • Plotinus’ contributions to the philosophical anthropology of early Christianity
  • The influence of Ancient Greek religion on the earliest philosophers’ understanding of the human person

Lectures by Dr. Giuseppe Girgenti

Giuseppe Girgenti is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Vita-Salute University, in Milan. He studied in Germany at the Ludwig-Maximillians Universität of Munich with Werner Beierwaltes (whose Augustine’s studies he translated into Italian); then he moved on to France and he studied at the Collége de France of Paris whith Pierre Hadot (whose work about Pophirius and Marius Victorinus he translated into Italian). In 1994 he discussed his Phd dissertation entitled “Porfirius: between henology and ontology.”

From 1997 to 2009 he was teaching fellow of History of Philosophy at the International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Lichtenstein. He translated into Italian works written by Jan Patocka, Karol Woityla, Adolf Reinach and Josef Seifert.

He is editor of the philosophy series “Il Pensiero occidentale” and “Testi a fronte” of Bompiani publishing house, Milan. He has been teaching in the Faculty of Philosophy of the Vita-Salute University, in Milan, since it was founded in 2002.

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Length 5 weeks
Effort 3-5 hours/week
Price $200
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Credits University credit equivalent: 1
Subject Philosophy, History
Level Beginner - Intermediate
Languages English, Italian
Video lectures English, Italian
Readings English, Italian
Prerequisites None