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11/9: “The Physician of the Soul in Plato’s Charmides”

Posted by St. John's College on November 9, 2007

News & Publications: Santa Fe

Dean's Lecture, 11/9: “The Physician of the Soul in Plato’s Charmides

WHAT: The Dean’s Lecture Series

WHO:  Alan Pichanick, St. John’s College, Annapolis

TITLE:  “The Physician of the Soul in Plato’s Charmides

WHERE:  Great Hall, Peterson Student Center, St. John’s College

WHEN: Friday, November 9, 8 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)

In Plato’s Charmides there are four lurking notions whose relation needs to be properly understood, if we are to untangle Socrates’ slippery search for the elusive virtue sophrosune (most commonly translated as “moderation”). These four notions are: Knowledge of Ignorance, Knowledge of the Whole, Self-Knowledge, and Knowledge of the Good. Pichanick will show the relation between these notions by first discussing Socratic Knowledge of Ignorance and what kind of Self-Knowledge and Knowledge of the Good it leads to. Secondly, he will examine Socrates’ account of the physician of the soul and the nature of eros, both of which shed light on the connection Socrates is making between these prior concepts and Knowledge of the Whole.

Alan Pichanick received a B.A. from St. John’s College, Annapolis, in 1998; an M.A. from the Committee on Social Thought, University of Chicago, in 2002; and a Ph.D. from the Committee on Social Thought and Department of Philosophy, University of Chicago, in 2005. He was a Junior Fellow at the John M. Olin Center, University of Chicago; a Visiting Instructor at the University of Richmond and Temple University; and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy at George Washington University. He has been a tutor at St John’s College since 2006.