Please join the Workshop on Ancient Philosophy for a lecture by Christian Vassallo of the University of Calabria (Cosenza), who is Fulbright Italian Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Notre Dame in Spring 2019.
His lecture will focus on Plato's concept of 'history' and will try to answer to the following questions: a) first, does a 'philosophy of history' exist in Plato's thought? b) Second, if this concept exists, can we find in the dialogues one or more versions of it? c) Third, what is the meaning that Plato assigns to the word 'history'? On the other hand, the problem will be tackled from the point of view of the role of 'progress' in some of the main Platonic dialogues. An in-depth analysis of these texts can help us find a solution to the paradox of the end of 'history' whenever the civilization physically collapses (because of a catastrophic event) or morally decays (because of the corruption of citizens and politicians). It will be argued that Plato's 'philosophy of history' is not necessarily the picture of a 'Sisyphus path', but rather the attempt to discover the elements for both avoiding the entropic decay of civilization and highlighting the cultural—almost 'genetic'—role of 'memory' against the danger of any cyclical regress.
214 O'Shaughnessy Hall
March 21, 2019