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Porphyry on Arete (virtue, or excellence)

A look at arete ("virtue" or "excellence") as central to the Platonic tradition


"Beatific contemplation does not consist of the accumulation of arguments or a storehouse of learned knowledge, but in us theory must become nature and life itself." – Porphyry, On Abstinence

For the Platonic tradition, philosophy is intimately connected with human life: it draws together our inherent impulse to explore truth and our deep-rooted desire to live well. For this reason the tradition gave much attention to the nature of arete (virtue, or excellence) through which, it taught, our life is transformed from the merely human to something bright with divinity.

But what is arete? And how do the Platonic primary virtues (wisdom, courage, temperance and justice) emerge in human life? And most important of all, how do we cultivate arete in ourselves? We will read and discuss a short extract from Porphyry (the pupil of Plotinus and a highly regarded philosopher of the 3rd century AD) and explore these questions over two evenings (the second session will be on 4th June).

No previous experience of formal philosophy is required.

Entrance in free, but donations between £3-5 will be welcomed.

A PDF download of the extract we will be reading is available on our website together with further details of this and other Prometheus Trust's activities: www.prometheustrust.co.uk (the PDF is on the "London Monday Evenings" page.)


Speaker(s):

Peter Lyle | talks | www

 

Date and Time:

21 May 2018 at 7:30 pm

Duration:

1 hour 30 minutes

 

Venue:

The Prometheus Trust
7 Pine Crest Way
Bream
Lydney
GL15 6HG
01594 726296
http://www.prometheustrust.co.uk

More at The Prometheus Trust...

 

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