Two virtual seminars
on Plato’s Gorgias
July 4th and 11th, 4 to 5.45pm BST
The Gorgias is the dialogue which in the late Athenian Academy was studied as the second on the recommended syllabus, after the First Alcibiades). It was said to examine the ethical principles that lead to “constitutional well-being.” It is worth noting that Plato continually draws on the parallel between a well-ordered republic and the internal constitution of the human soul, with its many abilities and activities - and it is with this in mind that we will approach the dialogue.
The Gorgias poses important questions about the nature of justice, virtue, art and science, knowledge and belief, the goals of human life, and the part that philosophy plays in our self-ordering. Socrates questions the pursuit of power over others gained at the expense of self-mastery, and suggests that such a pursuit is likely to produce the worst form of disease - that of the inner self. The dialogue builds on some of the elementary positions explored in the Alcibiades and introduces us to a fundamental affirmation of the Platonic tradition - that the human soul is in touch with more than physical reality.
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 Saturday July 4th at 4pm (BST) and our second a week later, July 11th, 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). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.