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11/7: “Tyranny, Totalitarianism and the Reading of Plato”

Posted by St. John's College on November 7, 2007

News & Publications: Santa Fe

Dean's Lecture, 11/7: “Tyranny, Totalitarianism and the Reading of Plato”

WHAT: The Dean’s Lecture Series

WHO:  David Levine, St. John’s College

TITLE:  “Tyranny, Totalitarianism and the Reading of Plato”

WHERE:  Ault Evers Room, Meem Library, St. John’s College

WHEN: Wednesday, November 7, 3 p.m.

COST:  This event is free of charge and open to the public.

CONTACT:  Jenny Hannifin, tel. 505-984-6104 (after hours, switchboard: 984-6000)

The reading of Plato requires judgment; the reading of the dialogue Charmides in particular requires political judgment. There are some, though, who contend that such judgment is not possible. However Critias—Charmides’ uncle and the other principal interlocutor in the dialogue—will become one of the worst “tyrants” in Athens’ history (the “leader” of the Thirty Tyrants). Can we forego trying to know who he is? To forego this would have put one at great risk. Can we to avoid judgment? Socrates does not.

David Levine received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in1962; a B.A. from St. John’s College, Annapolis, in 1967; and an M.A. in 1969 and a Ph.D. in 1975 from Pennsylvania State University. He has studied at the Centre Universitaire International in Paris and the Goethe-Institut in Germany, and taught at the University of Maryland (Germany), Pennsylvania State University, and Oklahoma State University. He has been a tutor at St. John’s College since1986, and served both as director of the Graduate Institute (1997-2001) and dean of the college (2001-2006).