Poetry of Greek Philosophy Conference

Thanasis Gavos   Thursday, 21 June 2018; 1:00-7:30pm
Greek philosophy, UCL

The UCL Department of Greek and Latin, and the Princeton Classics Department cordially invite you to a two-day workshop on the theme of ‘The Poetry of Greek Philosophy’. The convenors of the event are Peter Agócs (UCL) and Josh Billings (Princeton). The idea of the workshop is to get beyond Plato’s legend of the ‘ancient quarrel’ to examine ways in which Greek poetry/song or literature (in its language, themes and cultural authority) interacts with and influences philosophical thought, with opportunities to explore both broader themes in intellectual history and the interpretation of particular texts and authors. Our seminar will focus on the Presocratics (mainly the philosophical poetry of Parmenides) and will be held over two days at UCL, on June 21-22, 2018. Six papers by a mix of younger and more experienced scholars will be followed, on the afternoon of the second day, by a reading session built around the text of Parmenides’ proem. A number of senior scholars expert in the field will be there to chair papers and lend their insights in discussion.

If you are interested in attending the whole of the workshop or part of it, please register your interest by clicking on the following Eventbrite link. There will be a conference dinner (free of charge for speakers and session chairs, but not for other participants). If you are interested in coming to that, please tell us on the Eventbrite form so that we can make predictions about numbers.


Thursday, 21st June (venue: UCL Union building, 25 Gordon St., Maths 500 lecture theatre, WC1H OAY).

1:00-1:30 Arrival, introductions

1:30-3:00 Chiara Ferella (Berlin), ‘The Metaphor Domain of War in the philosophy of Heraclitus and Empedocles’

3:00-3:15 break (refreshments)

3:15-4:45 Tom Mackenzie (UCL), ‘See things which though Absent are Present to the Mind’: Parmenides and Enargeia’

4:45-5:00 break (refreshments)

5:-6:30 James Lesher (UNC), ‘The Locality Problem: Knowledge and Distance in Early Greek Poetry and Philosophy’

7:30 conference dinner

Friday, 22nd June (venue: Gordon House, 29 Gordon Sq., room 106, WC1H 0PP).

9:30-11:00 Shaul Tor (KCL), ‘Parmenides on Language and the Language of Parmenides’

11:00-11:15 break (refreshments)

11:15-12:45 Nicoló Benzi (UCL), ‘Epicharmus and the Rhetoric of Philosophy’

12:45-2:00 lunch (provided for those who register in advance)

2:00-3:30 Victoria Wohl (Toronto), ‘Ananke’s Bonds: The Violence of Language and the Language of Violence in Parmenides’

3:30-4:00 break (refreshments)

4:00-6:00 reading session: Parmenides fr. 1B D-K.

The organisers are grateful for the very generous support of the Leventis Foundation, UCL, and the Classics Department of Princeton University.

Register to attend.

UCL Greek and Latin Department (please refer to the programme for actual rooms)

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 May 2021