Ancient Philosophers on Friendship (10 week course)

learn, discuss, and apply wisdom about this vital dimension of human existence derived from insightful thinkers of the ancient world

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Join us for an 10-week intensive study focused on views of ancient philosophers on friendship, relationship, and connected topics. Among the thinkers we will study in this class are Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca, Plutarch, Dio Chrysostom, Epictetus, and Lucian of Samosata.

Tuition for the course includes the class sessions, access to discussion forums, downloadable handouts and worksheets, and other useful resources.

The course meets weekly on Thursdays, at 10:00 AM Central Time, starting on January 25. All of the course sessions will be recorded so students can review them at their leisure, and as many times as they would like.

We will be studying, exploring, discussing, and applying important and useful ideas drawn from the course texts. Key ideas students will develop a solid understanding of questions, problems, and issues that include:

  • what friendship actually is, and how it is related to love, desire, and affection
  • what kinds of friendships there are, and what their bases are
  • whether good and bad people can actually be friends with each other
  • what obligations friends have towards each other
  • what role friendship plays in human happiness and the good life
  • what to do with a friendship when friends change over time
  • how to tell true friends apart from false friends
  • what one needs to do in order to foster a solid friendship
  • what factors lead to breakdowns or breakups of friendships

Your Instructor

Gregory B. Sadler
Gregory B. Sadler

After a successful career as a college professor, researcher, and administrator, I started our company, ReasonIO (with my wife and partner, Andi Sciacca) in order to help people study and apply philosophy in public, practical, and professional contexts. I continue teaching philosophy, literature, religious studies, and humanities courses at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design.

I take difficult philosophical texts, thinkers, and topics, and make them accessible for everyday people. That's how philosophy gets traction and remains closely connected with real life! The work I do with ReasonIO includes online course development and teaching, public speaking, organizational and ethics consulting, tutorial sessions, development of philosophy content, and philosophical counseling.

My work and expertise covers a wide range of topics, thinkers, and texts in western philosophy, ranging through ancient, medieval, modern, and late modern periods. Among the schools, movements, and traditions I draw upon are Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism, Patristic and Medieval Christian thought, Dialectical thought, Existentialism, Critical Theory, and Philosophy as a Way of Life.

From 2016 to 2022, I served as the Editor of Stoicism Today. I remain a member of the Modern Stoicism, ltd. team. I am also the producer of the Half Hour Hegel series, which is nearing its completion. I have authored one book (Reason Fulfilled By Revelation), edited two volumes (Stoicism Today Selected Essays, volume 3 and volume 4), and published dozens of articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries. Although I work in significant part outside of the academy, I remain actively engaged in research and scholarship.

In recent years, I have held a Research Residency at the Institute for Saint Anselm Studies, been a Visiting Scholar position at European Graduate School, and was a Charles Chesnutt Library Fellow. I am also an APPA-certified Philosophical Counselor.

Course Curriculum

  Our Texts For This Course
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Week 9 - Epictetus on Friendship (more handouts coming soon)
Available in days
days after you enroll
  Week 10 - Lucian of Samosata on Friendship (content coming soon)
Available in days
days after you enroll

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
Do I need to already have studied philosophy to take this class?
It certainly wouldn't hurt, but it's not a prerequisite. Whether you're a complete beginner or an intermediate student with some background in philosophy, you'll get a lot out of this class

Get started now!