2018 Spring - Early Summer Program for Athens; and a Provisional Program Arranged for Delphi in Autumn 2018.

Following the success of previous programs of informal philosophy talks and walks in Athens every year since 2012 a new 8 week program has now been arranged for the spring-early summer of 2018 on Monday evenings and Tuesday mornings.

No previous formal study of philosophy (Greek or otherwise) is necessary to come along and enjoy these talks and walks, although more experienced philosophers will hopefully find them enjoyable and interesting as well. On Monday nights there will be a regular introductory talk: 'Socrates, Plato - Knowing Yourself and Living Moderately and Sustainably'; and on Tuesday mornings there will be a walk with talk: 'Aristotle and his Practical Philosophy'. Brief details are given below and in keeping with the Socratic tradition both these talks are offered free of charge for people who come along.

Some other talks are also available by prior arrangement (for individuals, groups of friends, and larger groups) – and again more details are below. All the talks are usually given at pleasant and inspiring places rather than in a classroom setting.

Talks and philosophical walks are also offered in Delphi throughout the year - but usually by arrangement only; although it is planned to offer a set program of talks in Delphi during Autumn 2018. (Dates will be added to this website in due course.)


Saturday, March 3, 2018

2018 - Greek Philosophy Talks and Walks in Athens and Delphi



Are you making important Life Choices...

or do you just want to know why Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are still so famous today - some 2,400 years after they live ?

2018  Spring-Early Summer Program - Athens

'Socrates and Know Thyself'
(Monday Nights - At the Athenstyle spectacular rooftop bar)

‘Aristotle’s Practical Philosophy'
(Tuesday Mornings - A philosophy walk in Athens)

Everyone wants to be happy and live the best life they can. Whether we like it or not – we all have to make certain important ‘Life Choices’ at various times in our life, and these choices are often philosophical in nature. Knowing something about the fundamental ideas of ‘real’ Greek philosophy can help us make more informed Life Choices - and this can help us to lead happier and more fulfilling lives.

Dates for Athens Talks Spring-Early Summer 2018

Monday 30th April  and Tuesday 1st May 2018
Monday 7th and Tuesday 8th May 2018
Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th May 2018
Monday 21st and Tuesday 22nd May 2018
Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th May 2018
Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th June 2018
Monday 11th and Tuesday 12th June 2018
Monday 18th 'The Nuts and Bolts of Plato' / No Talk Tuesday 19th June


‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’

‘I know I know nothing’  (Socrates)

Talk 1 – Monday Nights in Central Athens:

‘Socrates, Plato, The First Alcibiades & ‘Know Thyself’

Do you ever wonder who Socrates was and what he talked about? Are you curious to find out? If so then come to this talk in central Athens where James explains in easy ‘bite size chunks’ the fundamental ideas of what Socrates, Plato and 'real' Greek philosophy is all about. He also explains why all new students in the latter years of Plato's Academy in Athens started their studies by discussing Plato’s book: 'The First Alcibiades' and the essential Greek philosophical concept of 'Know Yourself'. The talk lasts for about 40 minutes with some time for questions and discussion afterwards for 20 minutes or so. So, come up and grab a beer or a coffee at the lovely AthenStyle rooftop bar-restaurant and experience a real Greek philosophy talk. (Meet 7 pm at AthenStyle rooftop bar for a prompt start at 7.15 pm )


Talk 2 – Tuesday Mornings in and around Central Athens:

‘Aristotle and His Practical Philosophy'

This relaxing walk with talk emphasises Aristotle’s ‘practical’ philosophy, and his ideas on how we can improve our personal happiness as well as the well-being of the cities we live in. The talk also touches on the environment, what sustainable living really means, the best ways to run a city or country, the reasons why good leaders and politicians are hard to find, and the goals of the education system. We walk slowly for half an hour or so to a beautiful and inspiring location overlooking Athens for the talk - which lasts about 40 minutes.  We pass the 'Prison of Socrates' on the way and the walk with talk is a two hour round trip. (Meet 9.45 am in AthenStyle reception for a prompt 10.00 am departure)

Also Available by Prior Arrangement Only:

‘Informal Coffee and Philosophy Sessions’ for individuals, small groups of friends or larger groups in Athens; or ancient Delphi. At these informal sessions we just meet and discuss Greek Philosophy or making important Life Choices without a particular subject or format in mind. The great thing about a small group of say 4 to 6 people (as most talks usually are) is that we can discuss the parts of philosophy that interest us most personally. When possible the talks will be given in and around Athens and Delphi at interesting or inspiring locations.

For further details, or to arrange one of these talks for yourself, your small group of friends, or your organisation contact:

jamesdelphi2000@gmail.com



Some general comments on 'Real' Greek Philosophy:

It is often said that ancient Athens in Greece was the birthplace of Western Civilisation as we know it today; and indeed the place where many modern intellectual (and artistic) concepts such as democracy, politics, economy, and ethics first came into being. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are without doubt three of the best known philosophers and thinkers from ancient Athens or indeed any other period of history including our own. Why is it that they are still so well known today, and what is it that makes them such important people? These are just some of the questions I hope to answer for you at these talks.

Keep in mind right from the start that ‘real’ Greek philosophy, after all is said and done, is simply about giving people a wider perspective on life so that they can make more informed Life Choices today. This helps us to live a better, happier, and more fulfilling kind of life.

Socrates was quite simply a wonderful teacher about life in its various shapes and forms. ‘Where am I, what am I -  and where do I want to go?’ - are the fundamental philosophical questions for Socrates summed up in the Delphi Maxim or phrase: ‘Know Yourself’.

Remember, we are not meant to study Socrates, Plato or Aristotle as if they are the font of all wisdom; they are just philosophy teachers – albeit very respected ones; and like any other teachers or guides they can only point people towards the truth. The 'student' of philosophy must then put one foot in front of the other and walk at his or her own pace towards that truth. Plato writes to stimulate our investigation and exploration of the truth, and many of the questions he raises and invites us to consider are important signs for us to follow towards the truth – or at least a better understand of the world we live in..

For those people unable to get to one of the above talks but who would like to know more about ‘Real’ Greek philosophy - take a look at the new book by James:   Life Choices - Important Tips from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle.

For further information contact:
jamesdelphi2000@gmail.com



Some other talks available by prior arrangement
for small groups of friends or larger groups:

Talk 3 - 'The Nuts and Bolts of Plato' This talk will particularly appeal to people who already know something about Socrates and Plato and are curious to know just a little bit more. This talk still puts various topics and themes into easily understood ‘bite size chunks’ so people new to the subject should also feel comfortable about arranging or coming along to this talk. We will discuss in a bit more depth three of the main themes in Plato’s writing: metaphysics and spiritual aspects, psychological aspects concerning the soul, and ethical / moral aspects. (This talk is by prior arrangement only. See contact details below.)


Talk 4 - 'Plato's book - The Phaedrus'  (…And the Idea That Love Can Be A Path Towards the Heavens....) This talk discusses Plato’s book The Phaedrus in quite some detail and will also look at the famous and beautiful 'Myth of the Charioteer'. Plato can be thought of as a poetic writer who often adds several layers of meaning to his books. The Phaedrus can therefore simply be read as a description of what it is like to fall hopelessly in love with someone; or it can be read as a road map to philosophical enlightenment and the truth. This is just one of the many choices we all have to make for ourselves; and making rational choices is also an important theme in The Phaedrus. (This talk is by prior arrangement only.)


Talk 5 –  'Plato's book - The Phaedo’ Concerning Socrates’ execution and his views on whether the soul exists or not. This talk discusses Plato’s book (dialogue) ‘The Phaedo’ and the many spiritual ideas discussed by Plato within the many layered structure of this book. Although on a superficial reading it is ‘just’ the historical account of what happened in the prison cell on the very last day of Socrates’ life; the book is also very much about the important ideas that Socrates discusses with his friends on that final day in the prison. These discussions largely concern why Socrates thinks the soul is immortal and that it goes on after the human body dies. As usual, Socrates gives his reasons for believing what he does for us to agree or disagree with. (This talk is by prior arrangement only.)

Talk 6 – 'The Delphi Message' - Know Yourself and Live in Moderation. This talk although about the Delphi Message can be given in Athens or Delphi. It draws on several of Plato’s books about Socrates – and tries to give a view of the essential message of Socrates – being so similar to the two Delphi Maxims above the Temple door in Delphi. If anyone is looking to live a more philosophical or spiritual path – or even to walk the Socratic Path – then these two maxims are a good place to start in that endeavour. (This talk is by prior arrangement only.)

For further details, or to arrange one of these talks for yourself, your small group of friends, or your organisation contact:
jamesdelphi2000@gmail.com


Embryonic Activities: The Little Academy of Athens

The ancient Greeks had a saying that if you want to do something well: 'Start and finish with the hearth', and it is at the hearth (the kitchens and fireplaces of our homes) that The Little Academy of Athens proposes to start its small and informal school/s for ‘real’ Greek philosophy.

The rationale is that if a little house was sufficient for the great neo Platonic philosophers to keep Plato's Academy and ideas alive in Athens during the 5th century CE - then it is certainly sufficient for the friends of the Socrates 4 Today project to meet and discuss various subjects and deepen their knowledge in the search for wisdom, truth and perhaps even philosophical enlightenment.

Over time it is hoped more and more friends of ‘real’ philosophy will pass through the The Little Academy of Athens, and as a result, shine more brightly and consistently in their own part of the world.