Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

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 first one on the 21st May - but we'll begin this evening with a summary of what was discussed then, so that those who missed it should be able to pick up the thread).

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.)


Peter Lyle | talks | www


Date and Time:

4 June 2018 at 7:30 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



The Prometheus Trust
7 Pine Crest Way
GL15 6HG
01594 726296

More at The Prometheus Trust...




Available from:

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund