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Essentials of the Philosophy of Plato and his Tradition


A ten week introductory course

The Prometheus Trust is running a 10 week course at Cecil Sharp House starting in January 2018 aimed at introducing the essentials of the philosophy of the Platonic tradition. It will cover metaphysics and theology, psychology, virtue and ethics, and Platonic approaches to enlightenment.

The aim is to present an outline of the elements of the Platonic tradition, to show something of its breadth and depth, and to make an initial exploration of the methods by which each participant's interior resources can be brought into play in the search for philosophical truths and beauties.

The course will run at weekly intervals on Mondays beginning 15 January and finishing on 19 March. Each session will last an hour and half, beginning at 6.30 pm. Each class will use extracts from the writings of the Platonic tradition but will especially rely upon the experience of philosophic discussion within the group. For this reason there will be a maximum of 10 students, and a commitment to attend all the sessions if at all possible is requested for the maximum benefit of each student. Completion of a booking form is required and is available from

There is no charge for the teaching but a donation of 50 is requested to help defray the Trust’s expenses. This is payable before the beginning of the course, is non-refundable, and we would ask that you complete a gift aid form to enable us to reclaim tax (if you are a UK taxpayer). If you cannot afford this donation, please contact the Treasurer at

Draft timetable




15th January


What is philosophy? Why philosophy? The Platonic tradition

22nd January

Metaphysics 1

The One or the Good, the Gods of the Platonic tradition, Being

29th January

Metaphysics 2

The intelligible and the visible, eternal ideas and temporal manifestation

5th February

Soul 1

Self-motivity & immortality, reason & freewill, the path of the soul

12th February

Soul 2

The soul’s powers, activities, and faculties

19th February


Dialectical questions: division, definition, demonstration and analysis

26th February


The Symposium and Diotima's path of love

5th March


Four primary virtues - and the direction of the soul’s activities

12th March


Plato’s use of philosophical and poetical myth

19th March

Philosophy as initiation

The mysteries, theurgy. And a look back at the whole course.