FIL4580 – History of philosophy from 600 BC until the 17th century with long essay

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The topics of the course are works/epochs/schools/ideas in the history of philosophy from around 600 BC until the Renaissance. Texts and focus may vary, but important names will be Heraklit, Parmenides, Sokrates, Platon, Aristoteles, hellenistic philosophers, neo-platonists, Augustin, Boethius, Thomas Aquinas, Ockham, Montaigne and Galieo.

Learning outcome

The aim is to give the participants an in depth understanding of philosophical problems from this period and to show their relevance for later discussions.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Only master degree students in philosophy can formally enroll, and take the course for credits. The 30-credits version of the course is available only for students who choose to write a MA-essay, FIL4091 – Master's essay in philosophy, instead of a Master's Thesis, FIL4090 – Master's thesis in philosophy, and therefore need further 30 credits.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

No obligatory prerequisites beyond the minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway.

Overlapping courses

10 credits overlap with FIL4560 – History of philosophy from 600 BC until the 17th century


28 hours of seminar.

You must complete the following compulsory tuition activities:

  • An oral presentation in class. This might be either an individual presentation or a group presentation depending on the number of students taking the course. The presentation must be accepted as satisfactory in order to maintain the right to sit the exam. This acticity will only be valid for one semester.

All compulsory tuition activities must be accepted as satisfactory in order to complete the exam.


A 4 hours school exam and a long essay of approximately 15-25 pages. The topic of the essay must be approved of by the responsible teacher.

When you write an essay you are entitled to receive individual tutoring. However, this requires that you submit a draft to your teacher. An exact deadline for handing in the draft will be given by the teacher during the seminar.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)