Plato for Revolutionaries: Justice and Power, Then and Now
Rethinking the Ancients from a materialist perspective
With Professor Michael Pelias

General Sketch of Plato’s dialogues


At the end of the Introduction to the Grundrisse, Marx writes that the Greek arts “still afford us artistic pleasure and that in a certain respect they count as a norm and unattainable model.” In this Historical spirit (Geist) we will engage the most broadly thematic text of Western philosophical thinking, Plato’s Republic (Politeia) through a parallel reading and encounter with Plato’s text from 380 B.C.E. with that of the French philosopher, Alain Badiou‘s contemporary and reimagined translation of the ancient text. The emphasis will be broadly on what themes (from epistemology to aesthetics) from classical antiquity can be rethought for the 21st century with an engagement with “democratic materialism” towards a new conception of the Good and critique of dominant common thinking beyond contemporary notions of social justice. A consistent and pressing question will also address what is Philosophizing , what is the role of the Philosopher in our world and what can be brought to bear on transformative and revolutionary thinking today.