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Courses

COVID NOTICE May 2022: WE HAVE RETURN TO CLASSROOMS FOR AUTUMN TERM, MAY-JUNE, WITH AN ONLINE OPTION FOR ALL CLASSES.

See what past-students have said about the courses

READING PLATO: AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

Curious about philosophy? Let Plato teach you.

Join us reading and discussing the famous dialogues where Socrates stands accused of corrupting the youth of Athens.

  • Six weekly small-group sessions suitable for beginners
  • Read a set passage before the evening talk and discussion
  • All readings from The Last Days of Socrates
    (available for purchase)

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BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR AUTUMN 2022
from Wednesday 4 May, 6.30-8pm, Lonsdale St, Melb (+online)

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NICHOLAS OF CUSA AND THE MYSTICAL FOUNDATION OF SCIENCE (new course!)

Nicholas of Cusa [1401-64] was instrumental to the 15th century renaissance of Platonism in Western Europe. Among his many attempts to show the mystical foundations of science is one outstanding late dialogue On not-other. This course is mostly a close reading of this dialogue that is explicitly informed by fresh translations of Plato, including his Parmenides. But we come to Nicholas only after first exploring the paths by which mystical Platonism transitioned into Christianity, an exploration that includes the reading of a short 6th century tract that was key to this transition, namely The Mystical Theology of pseudo-Dionysius.

  • Six weekly small-group sessions for continuing students
  • Not for beginners: take Reading Plato first.

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BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR AUTUMN 2022
from Tuesday, 3 May in Carlton (+online)

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ANCIENT GREEK LANGUAGE & THE FIRST PHILOSOPHERS | Part I and Part II

This two-part course provides both a beginner’s introduction to the ancient Greek language and a discussion of philosophy prior to Plato, including the key fragments of Thales, Heraclitus and Parmenides that have profoundly influenced our tradition. By gaining some understanding of the original Greek words and sentences of these first philosophers we come closer to the original meaning of philosophy.

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BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR PART ONE IN AUTUMN 2022
from Monday, 2 May

Bookings opening soon for Part II starting Monday 11 July 2022

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GORGIAS: PERSUASION, POWER & PASSION

Imagine an all-powerful tyrant able to punish his enemies, reward his friends and unscrupulously fulfill his every desire. Wouldn’t he be the happiest man alive? So argues young Polus, supported by Callicles, who declares that true happiness comes through inflaming and then satisfying one’s passions. Although we don’t like to admit it, nature dictates that the life of those with the power to do so is surely the best. This is not Socrates idea of the good life, but how can we come to accept his view that it is better to be wronged than to do wrong?

  • Six weekly small-group sessions for continuing students
  • Not for beginners: take Reading Plato first.

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This class will run again in 2023. Watch this space for details or subscribe to our blog.

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PLATONISM & CHRISTIANITY

Discover just how much Plato and Platonism shaped Christian doctrine

  • Six weekly small-group online sessions suitable for beginners
  • Some knowledge of Plato and/or Christianity recommended but not essential

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This class will run again in Winter 2022. Watch this space for details or subscribe to our blog.

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TIMAEUS, CRITIAS, MENO & ION

Timaeus is one of Plato’s later dialogues packed with interest at a variety of levels. On the surface is an account of the creation of our psycho-physical world by a demi-God. There are lots of cryptic mathematical references to deciphered, including a first account of the Platonic solids and Plato’s advance on the Pythagorean theory of musical harmony. The narrative continues with the short and unfinished dialogue Critias, the singular source of the Atlantis myth. When Meno asks whether virtue can be taught, Socrates answers via the famous demonstration of learning-as-recollection where the slave-boy doubles the square. We finish with enthusiastic rhapsody in Socrates’ interview with the performance-poet, Ion.

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This class will likely run again late in 2022. Watch this space for details or subscribe to our blog.

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THEAETETUS: ON KNOWLEDGE

What is it to know? …to know things? …to know ideas? Theaetetus is a lively and deceptively casual critical survey of the complete spectrum of answers to these questions.

  • Six weekly small-group online sessions for continuing students
  • Not for beginners: take Reading Plato first.

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This class will likely run again in 2022. Watch this space for details or subscribe to our blog.

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THE SOPHIST: ANSWERING PARMENIDES

If anywhere Plato presents his mature philosophical view, it is surely in the Sophist. Watch how the epistemological conundrums of Theaetetus resolve into a fully rounded philosophy.

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This class will likely run again in 2022. Watch this space for details or subscribe to our blog.

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PLATO’S REPUBLIC

Find out why this is one of the most famous and influential books in the Western tradition.
Also discover some of its esoteric secrets.

  • Six weekly small-group sessions for continuing students
  • All readings from The Republic (available for purchase)
  • Not for beginners: take Reading Plato first

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This course will run again as two 6-week courses during the Spring and Summer terms (2022). Watch this space for details or subscribe to our blog.

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PLATONIC LOVE

Love, sex, booze, rhetoric and winged chariots: reading the Symposium and Phaedrus

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This course will run again in Winter term 2022. Watch this space for details or subscribe to our blog.

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PLATONIC ESOTERIC GEOMETRY

  • Six weekly small-group sessions
  • Compass, rule, paper and all other materials provided
  • For geometry beginners.

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BOOKINGS NOW OPEN FOR SUMMER WEEKEND COURSE
Hands-on in Hawthorn
Saturday & Sunday 19-20 February 2022

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