Platonic Love is back and in the classroom for Winter 2021

Das Gastmahl des Platon (1869) by Anselm Feuerbach | Source: Wikipedia
Alcibiades and revelers gatecrashing what had until then been a relatively sober and discursive drinking party: a scene from Plato’s ‘Symposium‘ as depicted by Anselm Feuerbach (1869) | Source: Wikipedia

Enrolments are now open for Winter evening classes starting the week of Monday 21 June.

Those new to philosophy and Plato would best take our foundation course Reading Plato (online). For continuing students who missed out last Spring, Platonic Love is offered again, and this time in the Lonsdale Street classrooms. In this popular and accessible course, Plato’s Symposium comes alive with readings from the famous (notorious!) drinking party speeches. The theme of love continues with the Phaedrus, which includes the famous myth of the soul as a winged-horse Chariot.

Below the surface frivolity, there is in fact lots of provocative philosophy running through the Symposium and Phaedrus. However, if you are one of those hardcore philosophy nuts, then you might otherwise wish to join the group currently reading Theaetetus. For Winter term, they have decided to go on and tackle Plato’s Sophist.

This meandering attempt to define the character of ‘the sophist’ – the teacher of rhetoric – starts deceptively playful. But then, towards the end it shifts gear as it enters into the ‘higher dialectic’ (as referenced in the Republic) to give Plato’s answer to Parmenides in the most advanced version of his so-called ‘Theory of Forms’. This is Bernie’s favourite dialogue, and he can’t wait to show you how it presents the peak of Plato’s achievement.