September 20, 2013

NEH Summer Seminar on Socrates


NEH Summer Seminar on Socrates

The seminar will run from June 22-July 25, 2014, and will begin with “the Socrates Problem,” which concerns the difficulty in discerning what the historical Socrates was like from inconsistent ancient sources. The remaining four weeks will focus on the main areas that philosophers and scholars generally agree are the most interesting ones from the point of view of contemporary philosophy: Socrates’ doctrine of obedience to civil law, which seems to oppose modern liberalism and its conception of individual autonomy; Socrates’ profession of ignorance and its implications for human inquiry and for what human knowledge would be, if someone were to achieve it; Socrates’ eudaimonism—the doctrine that value is to be understood in terms of human happiness or flourishing; and Socrates’ commitment to intellectualism, both in the explanation of human motivation and also in terms of how virtue is to be understood, so that in either case, cognition, rather than emotion or some other desiderative element, will be central to explanation.

All pertinent information on the seminar may be found at its website: Inquiries may be addressed to Nicholas D. Smith, Department of Philosophy & Classics Program, Lewis & Clark University, Portland, Oregon. Applications are due by March 4, 2014.

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