Plato the Athenian was the philosopher who founded the Academy and whose brilliant writings are the foundation texts of the entire western philosophical tradition.
A student of Socrates, his dialogues use the Socratic method of question-and-answer to probe some of the most important questions humans have ever asked about our situation. What is true knowledge? How do we distinguish it from falsehood or mere opinion? Is the human soul immortal, and if so, what happens after death? How can we best organise a community and who should govern it? Should the arts be censored in the name of community wellbeing? What is the nature of true goodness, and how can a philosopher pursue the goal of achieving it?
This talk focuses on Plato’s masterpiece, the Republic, but also considers the importance of the dialogues which are set during the very last days of Socrates.
Image © Marie-Lan Nguyen CC-BY
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Professor Hall is Visiting Gresham Professor in Classics. She is a British scholar of classics, specialising in Ancient Greek Literature and cultural history. She is also Professor in the Department of Classics and Centre for Hellenic Studies at Kings College London.
From 2017-2018, she is also an Arts and Humanities Research Council Leadership Fellow on her project to widen access to classical subjects in state schools - it can be found here: http://aceclassics.org.uk/.
She has published twenty-five books on ancient Greek and Roman culture and its influence on modernity, including Inventing the Barbarian (1989), The Return of Ulysses (2008), Greek Tragedy: Suffering under the Sun (2010) and Introducing the Ancient Greeks (2014). She co-founded and remains Consultant Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama at Oxford and is Chairman of the Gilbert Murray Trust.
Professor Hall's lecture series are as follows:
2019/20 Science in Ancient Greece
2018/19 Scenes from Classical Athenian Life
2017/18 Ancient Greece in Film, Opera and the Arts
All lectures by the Visiting Professor of Classics can be accessed here.