Aim of the workshop
The goal of this workshop is to explore the literary dimension of philosophical texts. Many seminal books in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato’s dialogues, Augustine’s Confessions, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy, Nietzsche’s Also sprach Zarathustra) are also great works of literature. Historians of philosophy tend to interpret the literary features of philosophical works merely as rhetorical devices the goal of which is to frame the arguments developed in the texts. The purpose of this seminar is to challenge this traditional approach to philosophical works and explore the ways in which the literary traits of philosophical texts are intrinsically intertwined with their arguments. The examination of a few, representative texts from the history of philosophy will permit the participants to study how the arguments made in the texts are strengthened and furthered by the texts’ literary traits.
10:00-10:15: Welcome and Introduction by Fenneke Wekker (Head of Academic Affairs NIAS)
10:15-10:45: Bert van den Berg, (Leiden University, Former NIAS fellow): Literature and Philosophy in Plato’s dialogues
11:15-11:30: Coffee Break
11:30-12:00: Antonio Donato (NIAS and Queens College CUNY): The Literary Dimension of Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy
You can sign up for this program for free. If you subscribe for the program we count on your presence. If you are unable to attend, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org| T: +31 (0)20 2246723