In a time when proclaiming oneself as a philosopher or worse as a Platonist is an open invitation to the public charge of elitism, idealism, logocentrism, patriarchy and even fascism, reengaging the work of Plato seems to be more of a tasteless attempt to undo all the great achievements of the late twentieth century theoretical thought and its fight against philosophical haughtiness and human exceptionalism than an ill-advised academic career choice. But provocation – objective, disinterested, formal and persistent – is the job of philosophy, that is the courage of truth. Taking its cue from Rosemary Desjardins’s reconstruction of Plato’s rational enterprise and Alain Badiou’s Plato’s Republic, this course aims to elaborate and rekindle the nature of this philosophical provocation by presenting Plato as an archetype Promethean thinker. Our reading methodology will be informed by analytic and continental readings of Plato as well as the Tübingen school of Platonic studies that seeks to integrate the formal and dramatic aspects of the dialogues into a recipe for a fully-fledged cosmological thought.
Image: Tiepolo Ceiling Lamp, Manuel Vivian, 2014