The Joint Graduate Program in Classics, Philosophy, and Ancient Science at the University of Pittsburgh Presents:
Gábor Betegh, Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy, Cambridge University, UK:
"Plato on Health and Illness in the Phaedo and the Timaeus"
Cathedral of Learning, Rooms 1008 A & C (10th floor)
Abstract: Both dialogues start with someone not being able to attend an important philosophical discussion because of falling ill. But, I argue, the two dialogues present substantially different views on illness and health, closely related to the fact that the Timaeus presents embodied divine beings, most of all the cosmos, whose bodies don’t hinder their continuous intellectual activities. What is the guarantee of the eternal good health of the cosmos? And how far it is achievable for us by trying to emulate the metabolism of the cosmos? The Phaedo ends with thanking Asclepius, whose proper task is described in the Republic I argue that, according to the Timaeus we ought to be our own Asclepius to guarantee our good health based on the health of the cosmos.
All audiences are welcome.
Please note the following additional event with Prof. Betegh:
Conversation on Basquiat and Anaxagoras
Wed. Sept 4th at 3 pm
On the central panel of Jawbone of an Ass, Basquiat lists an impressive number of names, events and locations from Classical Antiquity. I am working on ancient philosophy, and found the painting extremely intriguing. Why does Basquiat paint the name of the Presocratic philosopher Anaxagoras? Or that of Hypatia, the 4th century Alexandrian mathematician and Neoplatonic philosopher? More generally, and more importantly, what can this painting tell us about Basquiat’s engagement with, and appropriation of, Classical Antiquity, ancient history and intellectual tradition? I claim absolutely no expertise in art history or Basquiat’s work. But I have done some research, and I think I might have found some clues which indicate that this is not a mere random list of names as it has been suggested. I would be delighted to share what I have found, to receive feedback on how farfetched my tentative interpretation of the painting as a whole and the individual elements of it is, and to brainstorm further about the many still unresolved puzzles I have about this intriguing piece of art and artist.