We will look at extracts from Plato's Phaedrus and Phaedo, together with the Orphic myth of Dionysus and the inscriptions on the mysterious Orphic gold tablets.The above syllabus is very much a draft and subject to revision as we go along.
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Socrates relates that Diotima describes philosophy as a path of love and cognitive ascent.
In this session we will consider Diotima’s speech and its implications for philosophy.
The Trust looks to follow the Platonic tradition's general approach - that merely because Plato or any of the other renowned thinkers inside or outside the Platonic tradition have asserted something we should not simply accept it but, rather, seek to see for ourselves whether or not (and in what way) any particular affirmation is true.
We hope to explore the ways of wisdom in a spirit of friendship and co-operation with anyone who is excited by the possibilities of philosophy: previous experience of philosophy or great cleverness are not required – just an interest in discovering the truth and a willingness to look beyond the appearance of things.
If we have time we'll also look at Proclus' explanation of Pythagorean harmony in terms of the three parts of the soul.
In his dialogue the Symposium, Plato places one of his most important accounts of the nature of philosophy into the mouth of a woman called Diotima (whose teaching Socrates relates in his speech), who is characterised as a prophetess and priestess as well as a philosopher.
He divides the whole of a city into three classes “ the governors, the auxiliaries and the general population who are the mercantile producers of material goods: these, Socrates says, are the parallels to three distinct aspects of the soul: the reasoning part, the thumos (or ordering or spirited part) and the desiring or appetitive part.
This evening we'll read extracts from Proclus' commentary on the Republic in which he discusses the nature of the parts, the way that they work as a whole, and the virtue (or excellence) which each part must be directed towards if the just and happy life is to be lived.
Adventure is what people want from their holiday and it doesn’t come mych more wild than the North Pole.
Previously off-limits to all but the most hardy explorer, Crystal Serenity recently became the first large scale cruise liner to traverse the Northwest Passage from Alaska to the Atlantic.
"Beatific contemplation does not consist of the accumulation of arguments or a storehouse of learned knowledge, but in us theory must become nature and life itself." - Porphyry, 3rd century AD.