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Recent Successes & Current Initiatives

In addition to the regular events and seminars that are organised and hosted by the Plato Centre, the members of the Centre are engaged in a number of collaborative research initiatives. These efforts, frequently conducted with the close input of the Centre community are a vital component of the Centre's activity. Below is an account of some of the current and recent projects carried out by Centre members as well as some of our recent successes.


New Monograph: Vasilis Politis, The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues, Cambridge University Press
This book proposes and defends a radically new account of Plato's method of argument and enquiry in his early dialogues. Vasilis Politis challenges the traditional account according to which these dialogues are basically about the demand for definitions, and questions the equally traditional view that what lies behind Plato's method of argument is a peculiar theory of knowledge. He argues that these dialogues are enquiries set in motion by dilemmas and aporiai, incorporating both a scpetical and an anti–sceptical dimension and he contends that Plato introduces the demand for definitions, and the search for essences, precisely in order to avoid a scpetical conclusion and hold out the prospect that knowledge can be achieved. His argument will be of great interest to all readers interested in Plato's dialogues and in methods of philosophical argument more generally.

Vasilis Politis was born in Greece but went to school in Denmark. He was educated at St. John's College Oxford and St. Anne's College Oxford, as well as the University of Munich and the Stiftung Maximilianeum. He has been at Trinity College Dublin since 1992. He is currently Head of Philosophy as well as Director of the Plato Centre at TCD. In 2009–10 he was a fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, and it was there that the first draft of this book was written. His 2004 book on Aristotle has been translated into several languages, including Chinese. He enjoys teaching at every level, and the ideas for the present book have been tried out and tested with students, especially at fourth–year undergraduate seminars and at graduate seminars in the Plato Centre, for the past several years. The present book is the outcome of a major project, on the place of aporia in Plato and Aristotle, that has issued also in several articles (e.g. in Phronesis 2008 and 2012). Politis is currently working together with George Karamanolis (Vienna University) on a collection of papers by a team of worldwide leading scholars on The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy (Cambridge University Press, due in 2016).

To order this book at a special discounted price, please use the publisher's flier.


'Senators as Philosopher Kings'
On Tuesday 4 November the Plato Centre, together with Senator Marie Louise O'Donnell, invited the Senators of Seanad Éireann to a lecture and discussion on the topic of 'Senators as Philosopher Kings', which was conducted by Professor John Dillon and Dr. David Horan

'Until philosophers rule as kings or those who are now called kings genuinely and adequately philosophize, that is, until political power and philosophy entirely coincide...cities will have no rest from evils, Glaucon, nor, I think, will the human race'. Republic 473c–d


International conference on
The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy

For the last three days of November 2014, the Plato Centre was especially pleased to host a very major international conference on the topic of aporia and its place in philosophical argument and inquiry in ancient philosophy: from its origins in sophistic and Eleatic thinking, through Plato and Aristotle, the peripatetics, to the academic and Pyrrhonian Sceptics and up to Plotinus and Damascius. This event, which was organised by George Karamanolis and Vasilis Politis, brought together 14 contributors from Ireland, England, Scotland, the US, Belgium, Germany, and Austria. It also served to prepare for a major publication with Cambridge University Press under the same title: The Aporetic Tradition in Ancient Philosophy.


Completed PhD

It is with particular pleasure that the Plato Centre congratulates Emily Parker who, on 22 April 2015, successfully defended her PhD thesis on the topic of The Figure of Joseph in the Writings of Philo of Alexandria. Emily came to the Plato Centre on a Newman Fellowship and conducted the research that became her PhD thesis with Professor Zuleika Rodgers (Department of Near and Middle Eastern Studies) and Professor John Dillon.


DAAD Postgraduate Fellowship

The Plato Centre is delighted to congratulate graduate student Pauline Sabrier who has been awarded a DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) fellowship for the academic year 2014–15. Pauline, whose project is titled 'The Role of Kinêsis and Stasis in Plato's Sophist: an Inquiry into the Two Forgotten Megista Genê of the Sophist', will be spending the academic year at the Munich Shcool for Ancient Philosophy (MUSAΦ) at the Ludwig–Maximilians–Universität München.


IRC Postgraduate Fellowship

The Plato Centre is delighted to congratulate graduate student Jun Su who has been awarded an Irish Research Council (IRC) postgraduate fellowship to pursue his doctoral studies in the Department of Philosophy and the Plato Centre. Jun's project is a study of Aristotle's Metaphysics Θ.


Last Updated: September 30 2015 14:54:17.