Plato's Other Souls

July 16, 2015 - July 17, 2015
Chair of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, Ruhr-University Bochum

Beckmanns Hof, Universitätsstraße 150
Bochum 44801

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Rachel Barney
University of Toronto
Luc Brisson
Centre Jean Pépin (UPR 76)
Stefan Büttner
Universität Wien
Christoph Horn
Universität Bonn
Terence Irwin
Oxford University
Olivier Renaut
Université Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense
Rachel Singpurwalla
University of Maryland


Jana Bleckmann
Ruhr-University Bochum
James Wilberding
Ruhr-University Bochum

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In many dialogues Plato sets out the ideal human as a perfect rational being that has separated itself as far as possible from appetites, emotions and other non-rational forces. Nevertheless, Plato's psychology includes a non-rational domain that encompasses impulses that would seem to be necessary, like seeking nourishment, or else valuable in some other way, like experiencing love or feelings for other beings in general.

This conference aims to examine and to discuss the significance of the non-rational forces of soul in Plato's psychology:  What is their status within the soul?  What can they do? And what is their influence on the person as a whole?  This examination is meant to go beyond the classical two non-rational parts of soul of the Republic – appetite and spirit – and expand its focus to other non-rational powers such as perception or imagination.

In scholarship all of these non-rational powers of soul are often discussed in contradistinction to reason and its powers, but one aim of this conference is to come to a better understanding of these non-rational elements not simply in terms of what they are not but in positive terms of what they are:  parts, aspects or powers that co-determine the form and abilities of human (and animal) life

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June 20, 2015, 3:00pm CET

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#Plato, Psychology