Ancient Philosophy: The Birth of Biology

Alfred North Whitehead said that the history of western philosophy is a series of footnotes to Plato; it would be equally true to say that the history of biology is a series of footnotes to Plato's student Aristotle. This course introduces students to Aristotle's metaphysics and epistemology through comparison of his works with modern evolutionary theory.

Topics covered include:

  • Rationalism and empiricism
  • Platonic forms vs. Aristotelian universals
  • Aristotle's theory of substance
  • Teleology and design

Sample syllabus