Online Lecture on «The Reinterpretation of Plato's Cardinal Virtues in Plotinus» by Dominic O’Meara

With the kind support of the A. S. Onassis Foundation (2023 grant), the research project “Between Athens & Alexandria. Platonism, 3rd-7th c. CE” (2022-2024), in collaboration with the Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, organise a lecture series on late antique Neoplatonism. The meetings take place on Zoom at 7.00 pm (Athens time). The Spring 2024 lectures focus on Neoplatonic commentaries on Plato’s dialogues, which, together with Aristotelian hypomnemata, form the main way of philosophising in Late Antiquity, and beyond. 
All welcome!

Οn Wednesday May 15, at 19:00 (Athens time) Dominic O’Meara (Université de Fribourg) will give a lecture on «The Reinterpretation of Plato's Cardinal Virtues in Plotinus».

In this paper I discuss the consequences, as regards the theory of virtue, of Plotinus’ denial that ‘spirit’ (thumos) and ‘desire’ (epithumia) are parts of the nature of soul. This denial contrasts with Plato’s tripartition of the soul  (including spirit and desire) in the Republic, a tripartition which serves in Plato to define the cardinal virtues. Plotinus consequently defines the cardinal virtues (named by him the ‘political’ virtues) in a different way, as the measure and order brought by rational soul to the affects which arise in the living body. Plotinus introduces furthermore a higher level of virtues, the ‘higher’ virtues. I will discuss the relation between these higher virtues and the political virtues: what principle of priority governs this scale of virtues? What relations of independence or dependence obtain between the two levels of virtues?

You can register in advance to our seminar meetings using the following LINK.