GK 390 • Seminar in Classical Studies
4:00 PM-7:00 PM
The seminar will focus on Plato's Parmenides, and especially the dense sequence of argument that forms the latter three quarters of the dialogue (137-end). This protracted and baffling series of antinomies about unity and being, which is introduced as an essential exercise for serious philosophy (136C) and which inspired the loftiest heights of Neoplatonist metaphysics, has long suffered derision or neglect. But several recent studies (by Frede, McCabe, Meinwald, Schofield, among others) argue that the antinomies not only afford solutions to the powerful objections canvassed in the first part of the dialogue, but also open up new lines of inquiry to be pursued in subsequent dialogues. The agenda for the seminar will be to examine and assess these claims through close study of the Parmenides and related material in other dialogues. The seminar is also designed to provide practice in the methods required for scholarship in ancient philosophy. Some knowledge of Greek, though not strictly required, will be very helpful. For example, seminar sessions and secondary literature alike will discuss texts and issues with frequent reference to Greek. Interested students are advised to consult the instructor.
M. Gill, Plato: Parmenides (Hackett): translation Plato, Opera vol. 2 (OCT, ed. J. Burnet): Greek text