Three virtual seminars
on Plato’s Phaedo
August 19th & 26th and Sept. 2nd at 6pm BST
The Phaedo is one of the great works of philosophy and one of the great dramas of western literature: it covers the last day of Socrates' earthly life and centres on a discussion about the immortality of the human soul, and the consequences that flow from that immortality. It includes allusions to traditional myths, discusses interior initiations and the true nature of philosophy, explores issues of truth and virtue, allows Socrates to describe his vision of "the true Earth" and culminates in a noble and touching death.
In the Platonic Academies of late antiquity, the Phaedo was the third dialogue on the traditional syllabus to be studied (following the First Alcibiades and the Gorgias). In the first of these the soul is shown to be the self of each human being; in the second the need for a philosphic understanding of justice is shown to be the key to the soul’s good life upon the Earth; in this third dialogue Socrates outlines the path which enables the soul to frame itself within a cycle of experiences suitable for an immortal creature.
The Prometheus Trust has run seminars and study weekends on Platonic themes for twenty years and plans to continue these studies via virtual channels over the coming months. Our approach to the philosophy of the Platonic tradition is to view it as a path to enlightenment rather than as mere exercise of logic and concept-building - in other words, we take seriously the numerous passages in the dialogues which portray the goal of philosophy as an inner self-transformation and divinization, as well as providing a guide to the outer life.
Our next virtual seminar will be on Wednesday August 19th at 6pm (BST) and followed by two further sessions on the 26th and September 2nd at the same time. This is open to anyone who is interested in our approach to philosophy: we ask that participants will have read the dialogue at least once by the first session, in any translation (we can supply a PDF of the dialogue, as translated by Thomas Taylor upon request.)
The sessions will run for one hour 45 minutes via Zoom. Each session will begin with a 15-20 minute presentation which will pick out a particular aspect of the dialogue, and then open up for a group exploration. We aim to limit the number of participants to around 10 (if there is a significantly greater demand than this we will repeat the session as required on Saturdays Aug 22nd & 29th, and September 5th). You are welcome to join us whether you have been a participant in previous Prometheus face to face events or are a newcomer and, of course, wherever you are in the world.
There are no charges for participation: to register for a place please email email@example.com.