Ancient Philosophy


a) to acquire a basic knowledge of the most important figures in ancient philosophical thought and of some of their texts.
b) to acquire a basic understanding of the specificity of ancient philosophy as a foundational moment in and the beginning of the philosophical tradition.
c) to acquire the ability to identify the most significant philosophical problems in ancient thought.
d) to acquire a basic knowledge of the main lines of development of ancient philosophy.
e) to acquire a basic ability to place concepts, methodological strategies and doctrinal positions in the historical context to which they belong.
f) to acquire a basic understanding of ancient philosophical terminology and its role in the genesis of philosophical terminology.
g) to acquire a basic ability to read and interpret some key texts of ancient philosophy.
h) to recognize the importance of the study of ancient philosophy for the understanding of current philosophical issues.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Jorge de Castro Caeiro


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Not applicable


2002: A Areté como Possibilidade Extrema do Humano. Fenomenologia da Práxis em Platão e Aristóteles. INCM. Lisboa.
2019: ARISTÓTELES. Ética a Nicómaco. Introdução, tradução e notas de António de Castro Caeiro. 6ª Edição. Quetzal. Lisboa. (1ª ed.: 2002)
2016: Caeiro, António de Castro. «Plato’s Gorgias Eschathological myth». In Maria José Velasquez, Greek Philosophy and Mystery Cults, (pp. 51-68). Oxford, OUP.
2014: ARISTÓTELES. Fragmentos dos Diálogos e Obras Exortativas. Introdução, tradução e notas de António de Castro Caeiro. Lisboa, INCM.

Teaching method

(a) Most classes are expository, allowing and promoting the students intervention, in order to clarify the reading of relevant passages from the texts under analysis.(b) Some classes are taught in the so-called seminar regime, i.e., they consist of reading, commenting and text analysis (using pdf projected by computer).(c) Finally, some classes consist of discussing with students the subject matters already presented and the problems raised. 

Evaluation method

Método de avaliação - At the end of the semester, the final exame(70%), Class Attendence(10%), In the middle of the semester one exam (20%)

Subject matter

The Project of Philosophy in Plato and Aristotle: Philosophy sets out with the identification of a problem (aporia). Knowing what one doesn't  known in order to knowing it. But how does one know what one doesn't know? Or is it about to getting a better knowledge of what is already known? Do we want to acquire a scientific and exact knowledge? But about what?  Socrates' well known answer is to get to knowing what he knows nothing about. The only object of care is "oneself", as expressed in the maxim: "know yourself!" We will go through the process of knowing the self, once we understanding  we don't know nothing about oneself. After this scandalous discovery, "philosophy" is the ongoing way of putting everything as a problem in an inexorable relationship "with one self".


Programs where the course is taught: