Exploring a living tradition with the Prometheus Trust
During the covid-19 hiatus the Prometheus Trust is running a number of remote sessions (via Zoom): these are designed as supplements to those who are reading Platonic dialogues privately. We also have a readers’ forum using the Slack forum facility. If you are interested do write to email@example.com in order to register and get access. This is open to anyone, and there are no fees payable.
The Trust sees the Platonic tradition as a spiritual one: not only a guide for the outer life, but especially to be treasured for its assistance in the cultivation of the inner self - the soul - for, says Plato in the Timeaus, “we are not terrestrial plants, but blossoms of heaven.” We understand the tradition to be profound and cohesive, and one that repays the long-term effort required to truly embed oneself in it. Our approach is not exclusive - we value other traditions for their insights - nor is it dogmatic or an attempt to proselytise: however we are serious in our attempts to fathom the depths of the tradition, to identify its foundations, and where its teachings seem to run counter to accepted thinking to investigate them thoroughly rather than rejecting them prematurely. Thus our point of focus is on the teachings of the tradition and our own inner response to them.
By joining our studies you are making no commitment beyond that of co-operating with us in our exploration of those truths which have inspired a company of men and women most luminous in their understanding, and unsparingly generous in their teaching. We do encourage those booking in to the dialogue sessions to have read the whole dialogue by the date of the first session - even if you don’t feel you have understood it!
At present we are using the ancient Platonic schools’ first cycle of ten dialogues which, as far as we can tell, was the accepted path through the writings of Plato for students coming to the tradition.
The ten dialogue cycle is: First Alcibiades - Gorgias - Phaedo - Cratylus - Theaetetus - Sophist - Statesman - Phaedrus - Symposium - Philebus.
As of October 2020 we have already looked at the First Alcibiades (2 sessions), the Gorgias (2), the Phaedo (3), the Cratylus (2) and run a single session introducing the principles of Platonic dialectic: if you have missed these, there is no problem in joining us for the sessions coming up - they are all fairly self-contained, although the multiple sessions on each particular dialogue are linked and we do ask that if you book for any dialogue you should aim to attend the two or three that cover it.
Our one-off sessions on particular subjects are run on Wednesdays at 6pm (GMT)
Our dialogue sessions are run on Wednesdays at 6pm and repeated on Saturdays at 4pm (GMT)
Nov 11th - A session on Knowledge and Opinion
Nov 18th - The Theaetetus, first session Nov 21st - First session (repeat).
Nov 25th - The Theaetetus, second session Nov 28th - Second session (repeat)
Dec 16th - A session on Being and Ideas
Jan 13th - The Sophist, first session Jan 16th - First session (repeat)
Jan 20th - The Sophist, second session Jan 23rd - Second session (repeat)
Jan 27th - The Sophist, third session Jan 30th - Third session (repeat)
Feb 17th - A session of Arete (or virtue). Feb 20th Arete (repeat session).
Feb 24th - The Statesman, first session. Feb 27th - First session (repeat) Text:
Mar 3rd - The Statesman, second session Mar 6th - Second session (repeat)
Mar 24th - A session on the Gods in the Platonic tradition
Apr 7th - The Phaedrus, first session Apr 10th - First session (repeat)
Apr 14th - The Phaedrus, second session Apr 17th - Second session (repeat)
Apr 21st - The Phaedrus, third session Apr 24th - Third session (repeat)
May 12th - A session on daemons & the principles of mediation in Platonism. May15th (repeat) - see below
May 26th - The Symposium, first session May 29th - First session (repeat) - see below
June 2nd - The Symposium, second session June 5th - Second session (repeat)
June 30th - The Philebus, first session July 3rd - First session (repeat) - see below
July 7th - The Philebus, second session July 10th - Second session (repeat)
July 14 - The Philebus, third session July 17th - Third session (repeat)
Each session is around 1 hour 45 minutes, and as we reach each dialogue a channel is made available in our Slack forum for the further exchange of views, questions, and insights.
We try to keep the number of participants down to 10 or less in order to give everyone involved space to explore questions which arise.