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Platonic dialectic

Conference: Platonic dialectic – inquiring into the nature of things

In recent decades a growing number of scholars have questioned the developmental approach to Plato that dominated scholarship in the 20th century. But this change has yet to prompt new approaches to Plato's conception of dialectic. The conference aims to promote such new approaches.

platos_academy_mosaic2.jpg

Plato's Academy in mosaic

The last decades of Platonic scholarship bear witness to a radical change in the way Plato’s dialogues are generally read. The developmental approach that dominated scholarship in the 20th century is now questioned by a growing number of scholars, and this has stimulated a renewed interest both in the question how the dialogues are best approached and in the approaches to Plato adopted by older Platonists (i.e. before the 19th century especially).

This change, however, has still to prompt a revision of the way Platonic dialectic is approached. The assumption that Plato’s conception of dialectic underwent a significant development, starting from a Socratic ideal of philosophy as dialogue and culminating in a more Aristotelian, scientific ideal, still dominates scholarship on the subject. The aim of the conference is to consider, and potentially question, this assumption in order to stimulate discussions about the nature of Platonic dialectic.

Thursday, May 31st

10.00-10.15  Welcome
10.15-11.15  Vasilis Politis (Trinity College Dublin) Dialectic versus epistemology in regard to Plato
11.15-11.45  Discussion

11.45-13.00    Lunch

13.00-13.45  Evan Rodriguez (Idaho State University) A Long Lost Relative in the Parmenides? Plato’s Family of Dialectical Methods
13.45-14.15  Discussion

14.15-14.30    Break

14.30-15.15  Vivil Valvik Haraldsen (University of Oslo) What does dialectic tell us about reason in the Republic?
15.15-15.45  Discussion

15.45-16.00    Break

16.00-16.45  Pauline Sabrier (Sun Yat-Sen University, Zhuhai campus) The role of the ti esti question in Plato’s Sophist
16.45-17.15  Discussion

Friday, June 1st

09.00-10.00  Walter Mesch (Universität Münster) Between Variety and Unity. How to deal with Plato’s Dialectic?
10.00-10.30  Discussion

10.30-10.45    Break

10.45-11.30  Marilena Vlad (University of Bucharest, Al. Dragomir Institute) Dialectic and Philosophical Divination
11.30-12.00  Discussion

12.00-13.00    Lunch

13.00-13.45  Kristian Larsen (University of Bergen) Defining rhetoric dialectically – in defense of Socratic divisions in Plato’s Gorgias
13.45-14.15  Discussion

14.15-14.30    Break

14.30-15.15  Cristina Ionescu (The Catholic University of America) The Philosopher’s Dialectical Art in the Phaedrus: What are the Objects that we Collect and Divide?
15.15-15.45  Discussion

15.45-16.00    Break

16.00-16.45   Justin Vlasits (Eberhard- Karls Universität Tübingen) Plato’s Dialectical Methods
16.45-17.15   Discussion

19.30 Conference dinner

Saturday, June 2nd

09.30-10.30   Pauliina Remes (Uppsala University) Plotinus on Dialectic: Ennead I.3
10.30-11.00   Discussion

11.00-11.15    Break

11.15-12.00   Emily Austin (Wake Forest College) The Special Object of Dialectic in Plato’s Charmides and Euthydemus
12.00-12.30   Discussion

12.30-14.00    Lunch/Conference meeting

14.00-14.45   Naoya Iwata (University of Oxford) Collection and Division and the Method of Hippocrates in Plato’s Phaedrus
14.45-15.15   Discussion

15.15-15.30    Goodbye