Plato and the pursuit of Truth: Story-telling as an instrument of truth –
“Be as children, and listen” – Plato, in the Statesman
Plato’s dialogues have challenged readers to explore questions of truth and reality for the last 2,400 years: during that time humankind’s view of truth and the universe we inhabit has undergone many changes – but Plato’s philosophy remains alive with his profound questions. But why didn’t Plato write straight text-book philosophy, and simply present his thoughts in reasoned arguments, rather than mixing that element with a range of vivid stories?
The second of three Sunday afternoons of Plato’s approach to truth-seeking, we aim to explore some of the stories his characters tell during the dialogues. What does story-telling add to the rational arguments from which they arise? What advantage is there in myth and story to compensate for the loss of precision when dialogues move from dialectical argument to the strange tales Plato has speakers relate?
We will spend an hour looking at examples of his stories, and the way they are embedded in the dialogues; after a short break we will open up the meeting to an open discussion about this way of philosophizing, and what it adds to the rational element of the dialogue.
Each workshop will be self-contained, so if you can’t make all three Sunday afternoons (March 10, 17th and 24th) do come along to those you can make.
Details of all three workshops can be found on both the New Acropolis website (see contact details) and the Prometheus Trust website – www.prometheustrust.co.uk (go to the “lectures” page)