Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Department of Philosophy - Philosophy, Science and the Sciences

Chloe Balla (University of Crete): Plato's 'Phaedo' - a mini course

Course description:

The Phaedo is traditionally considered as a dialogue on the immortality of the soul. Despite the setting (the last day of Socrates’ life in prison) and the series of arguments on the immortality of the soul that form its backbone, the dialogue lends itself to a more secular reading: Plato uses Socrates’ death as an occasion to describe the field of philosophy as he himself conceives it, and to demarcate it from a number of other intellectual activities --in which the historical Socrates was possibly involved-- that range from ‘antilogic’ to divination.

This mini course involves four sessions on four subsequent days, starting on Monday 17 July 2017 (2-4 pm)

1. Only logoi left alive: toward a secular reading of the Phaedo (17 July, 2-4 pm)

2. Socrates the shaman? The ‘mystic’ background of the Phaedo (18 July, 2-4 pm)

3. Who is shaking the waters of Euripus? Philosophical polemic in the second voyage (19 July, 2-4 pm)

4. A penthouse for philosophers? The final myth of the Phaedo (20 July, 2-4 pm)

Please bring with you a copy of the Phaedo (in translation). Recommended: Plato. Meno and Phaedo, translated by A. Lond, edited by D. Sedley, CUP, 2010.

Knowledge of Greek is desired but not required.

You'll find more detailed informaton on each session and a bibliography here.


About Chloe Balla:

Chloe Balla is Assistant Professor of ancient philosophy at the Department of Philosophy and Social Studies, University of Crete. Her publications include a translation with introduction and notes of Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia in Modern Greek (in collaboration with Robert W. Wallace: Athens 2015); a monograph on Platonic Persuasion: From the art of the orator to the art of the statesman (in Greek: Athens 1997), an edited volume on The Interface between Philosophy and Rhetoric in Classical Athens (special issue of Rhetorica, co-edited with Harvey Yunis, 2007), and one on the Deaths of Philosophers in Antiquity (in Greek: co-edited with Paraskevi Kotzia and Giorgos Zografidis, in Greek: Athens 2010). Her interests lie in the works of the Sophists, Plato, Aristotle and the medical writers. She is currently working on a book on Plato’s Phaedo.