A day course in ancient philosophy with Mark Vernon.

Spend your Sunday at The Idler Academy learning about Socrates, Plato and the ancient schools. Price includes tea & coffee, lunch, afternoon cake and warming winter gin punch.

This is a lively, day crash course in philosophy, exploring the essentials you need to know about the ancient figures from Pythagoras to Plato, examining the origins of the western tradition in ancient Greece. The day will comprise of talks from Mark and group discussions, and there will be time for you to discuss any of your burning philosophical questions.

The day is divided in two. During the morning we will learn about the birth of Western thought, focussing particularly on the big hitters: Pythagoras, Heraclitus and Parmenides. Then we come to Socrates, arguably the most influential philosopher in history, alongside his disciples who are giants in their own rights, Plato and Aristotle. A number of schools of philosophy flourished then too, and during the Roman and early Christian period, notably the Stoics and Epicureans, and in the second half of the day we will examine the ways of life they advocated in the quest for insight and tranquility.

Order of the day

11:00 – 11:15 Arrival, tea & coffee and Introductions
11:15 – 12:00 The Pre-Socratics and the birth of western thought
12:00 – 1:00 Socrates, Plato and Aristotle
1:00 – 1:45 Lunch and open symposium
1:45 – 3:00 Stoics and Epicureans
3:00 – 3:30 Tea and cake
3:30 – 4:30 Cynics, Sceptics and what happened next
4:30 – 5:00 Conclusions, winter punch.

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