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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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), and run a single session introducing the principles of Platonic dialectic.
The Cratylus (2 sessions in mid October)
We plan to run a session exploring concepts of “opinion and knowledge” in early November
The Theaetetus (2 sessions in late November)
A session (or perhaps 2) on “Being and ideas” in early December
The Sophist (2 sessions in early January)
And sessions on the Statesman, Phaedrus, Symposium and Philebus in the following months.
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. At present this means that we usually run a repeat of each session. We run one session on Wednesday evenings (at 6pm London time) and its repeat on Saturday afternoon (at 4pm London time). See below for details of our next set of sessions