Upper Canada Society for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

Colloquium Series

All times for the WINTER series are Fridays 4:00-5:30 pm in the Rotman Seminar Room unless otherwise specified.

Fall series

Wednesday. Sept. 30. Dorothea Frede (Hamburg University), “Aristotle on the Importance of Laws, Rules, and Institutions”, Stevenson Hall 1145.

Oct. 15 Dioné Harley (UWO), “The Goal of Habituation in Aristotle: against a robust account.”

Oct. 29 Adam Woodcox (UWO), “The Stoic Theory of Cognitive Development”

Nov. 12 Mark Johnstone (McMaster), Title TBA.

Nov. 26 Georgia Mouroutsou (King’s University College, UWO), Title TBA.

Dec. 10 Cecilia Li (UWO), Title TBA.

Winter series

Jan. 15 Pierre-Luc Boudreault, Plato’s Cratylus

Feb. 12 Michael Korngut (UWO), “The Pains of Self-ignorance: Mimesis in the Philebus.”.

Feb. 26 Devin Henry, “Aristotle on Epigenesis”

Mar. 11 TBA

Winter Seminar Series

Friday, Mar. 18: Rusty Jones (Harvard) & Ravi Sharma (Clark), 1:30-3:30, StH 3101, Socratic Motivation and Socratic Justice in the Hippias Minor 

Abstract: Socrates articulates the main conclusion of the Hippias Minor at 376b5-6:  “Then the person who voluntarily goes wrong and does things shameful and unjust, Hippias – if in fact there’s anyone like that – would be none other than the good person.”  We’ll contend that he is committed to the conclusion.  That is, he believes the premises and rightly deems his argument valid.  This interpretive claim is more radical than it sounds: Nearly all scholars have thought that Socrates rejects the conclusion, and so they dismiss it with little further consideration.  But if he finds it plausible, then we need an explanation how this paradoxical conclusion could have been acceptable to Socrates.  We’ll offer just such an explanation, focusing on two points, one positive and one negative.  (a) Underlying Socrates' commitment is a radical thesis about interests:  I can never promote my own interest at the expense of yours.  (b) The few interpreters who recognize that Socrates endorses the conclusion think he does so in part because he is a psychological egoist.  We argue that he is not; the thesis about interests fully explains his endorsement.

Saturday, Mar. 19:

    • Session 1: Rusty Jones (Harvard) & Ravi Sharma (Clark), 10:00 am-12:00 pm, StH 3101 (Topic: Plato), Socratic Motivation and Socratic Justice in Memorabilia 4.2 

      Abstract: Xenophon’s Socrates has often been thought irreconcilably different from Plato’s. But strikingly, Memorabilia 4.2 is an expression of the very position we find in the Hippias Minor.  Crucially, this includes both a commitment to the thesis about interest and a complete lack of reliance on psychological egoism.  On both of these counts, our interpretation of Xenophon is heterodox, and so we’ll range a bit further afield in his corpus to substantiate our claims.  At the end, we’ll invite some discussion on what, if any, impact our readings of the Hippias Minor and Memorabilia 4.2 might have on the “Socratic Question”, the question whether and under what circumstances it would be reasonable to draw conclusions about the historical Socrates from work of these two authors.

    • Session 2: Georgia Mouroutsou (King’s College University), 3:00-4:30 pm, StH 3101 (Topic: TBA)

      Monday, Mar. 21: David Sedley (Cambridge), 2:30-5:30, StH 1145 (Recollection in Plato’s Timaeus)

      Tuesday, Mar. 22: David Sedley (Cambridge), 2:00-3:30, Rotman Seminar Room (Immortality in Plato’s Phaedo)