Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2014

Department 1



While serving as a Visiting Fellow at Lancaster University, I was asked to lead an informal seminar on Classical Philosophy. It was to be a reading group of postgraduate students and staff, focusing on two foundational texts of Western civilization: Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. I happily accepted. The resulting two-hour, weekly sessions over Michaelmas Term were lively times of philosophical effervescence, full of probative questions, interesting interpretations, diverse evaluations, vigorous debates, and shared insights. Postmodernists engaged in the holy act of Interpreting the Text, we nonetheless strained to grasp the “true meaning” of the texts, to extend our range of charitable understanding across twenty-four centuries of linguistic and cultural difference, and then to examine that meaning in light of our contemporary context and personal perspectives. However successful that collective exercise may have been, it was certainly provocative. [excerpt]

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