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Politeia (Mayweek conference 2011)

30 May - 3 June 2011

A conference in honour of Malcolm Schofield

This conference explores the broad ramifications of the theme of politeia (constitution) in classical philosophy. Politeia is of course the Greek title of what the English-speaking world calls Plato’s Republic (and the Germans, his Staat), yet the topic has received surprisingly little attention as a lens into ancient ideas about politics.  The term is etymologically linked to polis – of which it is the organizing structure or principle, but also the customary way of life – and also to the possible Platonic coinage of politikos or statesman.  The idea of politeia comes to capture cosmic as well as political and psychological structurings with deep resonances among them.  To clarify neglected aspects of these interconnected dimensions, the conference will examine four themes: (i) Writing the Polis; (ii) Politics in Practice: ideology and theory; (iii) Personal Politics: politeiai and ethics; and (iv) Politics Extended: animals, gods, cosmology.  The conference is timed to mark the retirement of Prof. Malcolm Schofield, who has been a world leader in this field for decades.

The organisers and the Faculty of Classics gratefully acknowledge the support of the British Academy for this conference.

Monday, 30 May

13:45-14:15     Registration

14:30-16:00     Welcome; Alex Long, University of St. Andrews, ‘Politeiai, political experts and Socrates’  

(Chair: Melissa Lane, Princeton University)

16:30-17:45     Miriam Griffin, University of Oxford, ‘Latin philosophy and Roman law’

(Chair: Peter Garnsey, University of Cambridge)

18:00-19:30     Reception, Faculty of Classics Cast Gallery


Tuesday, 31 May

9:45-11:00       Jaap Mansfeld, University of Utrecht, ‘Aëtius on Alcmaeon on isonomia’

(Chair: James Warren, University of Cambridge)

11:30-12:45     Nicholas Denyer, University of Cambridge, ‘The political skill of Protagoras’

(Chair: Myles Burnyeat, University of Cambridge)

14:30-15:45     Cynthia Farrar, Yale University, ‘Putting history -- and democracy -- in its place: Plato, Thucydides, and the Athenian politeia’ (Chair: Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge)

16:15-17:30     Robert Wardy, University of Cambridge, ‘The Platonic manufacture of ideology’

(Chair: Angela Hobbs, University of Warwick)


Wednesday, 1 June

9:45-11:00       Jonathan Barnes, University of Paris-Sorbonne, ‘Proclus and politics’

(Chair: A.A. Long, University of California, Berkeley)

11:30-12:45     Catherine Osborne, University of East Anglia, ‘Plato and Protagoras’

(Chair: David Sedley, University of Cambridge)


Thursday, 2 June

9:45-11:00       Myles Burnyeat, University of Cambridge, ‘Justice in soul and city in Republic IV’

(Chair: Dominic Scott, University of Virginia)

11:30-12:45     Richard Kraut, Northwestern University, ‘An aesthetic reading of Aristotle’s Ethics’

(Chair: Robert Wardy, University of Cambridge)

14:30-15:45     M.M. McCabe, King’s College London, ‘The Stoic sage in the original position’ 

(Chair: René Brouwer, University of Utrecht)

16:15-17:30     Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, University of Cambridge, ‘Aristotle on natural sociability, skills and intelligence of animals’ (Chair: Richard Sorabji, King’s College London / New York University)


Friday, 3 June

9:45-11:00       James Warren, University of Cambridge, ‘Gods and men in Xenophanes’

(Chair: Margaret Atkins)

11:30-12:45     Christopher Rowe, Durham University, ‘Socrates and his gods’  

(Chair: Nicholas Denyer, University of Cambridge)

14:30-16:00     David Sedley, University of Cambridge, ‘The atheist underground’; Closing of conference

(Chair: Verity Harte, Yale University)

19:00 for 19:30           Gala Dinner, St. John’s College

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