Philosophy Talks and Walks in Greece – Spring-Summer 2017 Program for Athens.

Following the success of previous programs of informal talks and philosophy ‘walks with talk’ in Athens since autumn 2013 a new 8 week program has now been arranged for the spring-summer of 2017.

No previous formal study of philosophy (Greek or otherwise) is necessary to come along and enjoy these talks and walks. More experienced philosophers may also find them enjoyable I hope. On Monday nights there will be a regular introductory talk: 'Socrates and Know Thyself'; and on Tuesday mornings there will be a walk with talk: 'Aristotle and his Practical Philosophy'; and further details are given below. In keeping with the Socratic tradition both these talks are offered free of charge for people who come along.

Some other talks are also available by prior arrangement – and again more details are below. All the talks are given at interesting and inspiring places in Athens or occasionally in Delphi.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Real Greek Philosophy Talks and Walks in Athens and Delphi

Are you making important Life Choices?

Or do you just want to know why Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are so famous even today - 2,400 years after they lived ?

'Real' Greek Philosophy Talks and Walks in Athens Greece

(Note: 2018 dates will be added to this blog early in 2018)

Spring-Summer Program - 2017

'Socrates and Know Thyself'
(Monday Nights - At spectacular Rooftop Bar)

Aristotle’s Practical Philosophy'

(Tuesday Mornings - A philosophy walk)

Everyone wants to be happy and live the best life they can. Whether we like it or not – we all have to make important ‘Life Choices’ at certain times in our life, and these choices are often philosophical in nature. Knowing something about the fundamental ideas of ‘real’ Greek philosophy can help us make more informed Life Choices - and this can help us to live a happier and more fulfilling lives.

Dates for Athens Talks Spring-Summer 2017

(Revised Schedule of 8 weeks)

Monday 24th and Tuesday 25 April
Monday 1st and Tuesday 2nd May
Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th May
Monday 15th and Tuesday 16th April
Monday 22nd and Tuesday 26rd April
Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th June
Monday 12th and Tuesday 13th June
Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th June

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’

I know I know nothing’  (Socrates)

Talk 1 – Monday Nights in Central Athens:

 ‘Socrates, Plato, The First Alcibiades & ‘Know Thyself’

Do you ever wonder who Socrates was and what he talked about? Are you curious to find out? If so then come to this talk in central Athens where James explains in easy ‘bite size chunks’ the fundamental ideas of what Socrates, Plato and 'real' Greek philosophy is all about. He also explains why all new students in the latter years of Plato's Academy in Athens started their studies by discussing Plato’s book: 'The First Alcibiades' and the essential Greek philosophical concept of 'Know Thyself'. The talk lasts for about 40 minutes with some time for questions and discussion afterwards for 20 minutes or so. So come up and grab a beer or a coke at the AthenStyle rooftop bar-restaurant and find out about Socrates and Plato at a real Greek philosophy talk. (Meet 7 pm at AthenStyle rooftop bar for a prompt 7.15 pm start)

Talk 2 – Tuesday Mornings in and around Central Athens:

 ‘Aristotle and His Practical Philosophy'

This relaxing walk with talk emphasises Aristotle’s ‘practical’ philosophy, and his ideas on how we can improve our personal happiness and the well-being of the cities we live in. The talk also touches on the environment, what sustainable living really means, the best ways to run a city or country, and the goals of the education system. We walk slowly for half an hour or so to a beautiful and inspiring location overlooking Athens for the talk which lasts about 40 minutes.  We pass the 'Prison of Socrates' on the way and the walk with talk is a two hour round trip. (Meet 9.45 am in AthenStyle lobby for a prompt 10.00 am departure)

Also Available By Prior Arrangement Only:

Informal Coffee and Philosophy Sessions’ for individuals, couples or small groups of friends in Athens; or Delphi. At these informal sessions we just meet and discuss Greek Philosophy or making important Life Choices without a particular subject or format in mind. The great thing about a small group of say 4 to 6 people (as most talks usually are) is that we can discuss the parts of philosophy that interest us most personally. When possible the talks will be given in and around Athens and Delphi at interesting or inspiring locations.

For further details, or to arrange one of these talks for yourself, your small group of friends, or your organisation contact:

Some general comments on these talks about: 'Real' Greek Philosophy:

It is often said that ancient Athens in Greece was the birthplace of Western Civilisation as we know it today; and indeed the place where many modern intellectual (and artistic) concepts such as democracy, politics, economy, and ethics first came into being. Socrates, Plato and Aristotle are without doubt three of the best known philosophers and thinkers from ancient Athens or indeed any other period of history including our own. Why is it that they are still so well known today, and what is it really that makes them such important people? These are just some of the questions I hope to answer for you at these talks.

Keep in mind right from the start that ‘real’ Greek philosophy, after all is said and done, is simply about giving people a wider perspective on life so that they can make more informed Life Choices today. This helps us to live a better, happier, and more fulfilling kind of life.

Socrates was quite simply a wonderful teacher about life in its various shapes and forms. ‘Where am I, what am I -  and where do I want to go?’ - are the fundamental philosophical questions for Socrates summed up in the Delphi Maxim or phrase: ‘Know Thyself’.

Remember, we are not meant to study Socrates, Plato or Aristotle as if they are the font of all wisdom; they are just philosophy teachers – albeit very respected ones; and like any other philosophy teachers or spiritual guides they can only point people towards the truth. The 'student' of philosophy must then put one foot in front of the other and walk at his or her own pace towards that truth. Plato writes to stimulate our investigation and exploration of the truth, and many of the questions he raises and invites us to consider are important signs for us to follow towards the truth – or at least a better understand of the world we live in.. 

For those people unable to get to one of the above talks but who would like to know more about ‘real’ Greek philosophy - take a look at the new Book by James:   Life Choices - Important Tips from Socrates, Plato and Aristotle

For further information contact:

Some other talks available by prior arrangement
for small groups of friends or larger groups:

Talk 3 - 'The Nuts and Bolts of Plato'

This talk will particularly appeal to people who already know something about Socrates and Plato and are curious to know just a little bit more. This talk still puts various topics and themes into easily understood ‘bite size chunks’ so people new to the subject should also feel comfortable about arranging or coming along to this talk. We will discuss in a bit more depth three of the main themes in Plato’s writing: metaphysics and spiritual aspects, psychological aspects concerning the soul, and ethical / moral aspects. (This talk is by prior arrangement only. See contact details below.)

Talk 4 - 'Plato's book - The Phaedrus'

 (And the Idea That Love Can Be A Path Towards the Heavens....)

This talk discusses Plato’s book The Phaedrus in quite some detail and will also look at the famous and beautiful 'Myth of the Charioteer'. Plato can be thought of as a poetic writer who often adds several layers of meaning to his books. The Phaedrus can therefore simply be read as a description of what it is like to fall hopelessly in love with someone; or it can be read as a road map to philosophical enlightenment and the truth. This is just one of the many choices we all have to make for ourselves; and making rational choices is also an important theme in The Phaedrus. (This talk is by prior arrangement only.)

Talk 5 –  'Plato's book - The Phaedo’

(Concerning Socrates’ execution and his views on whether the soul exists or not.)

This talk discusses Plato’s book (dialogue) ‘The Phaedo’ and the many spiritual ideas discussed by Plato within the many layered structure of this book. Although on a superficial reading it is ‘just’ the historical account of what happened in the prison cell on the very last day of Socrates’ life; the book is also very much about the important ideas that Socrates discusses with his friends on that final day in the prison. These discussions largely concern why Socrates thinks the soul is immortal and that it goes on after the human body dies. As usual, Socrates gives his reasons for believing what he does for us to agree or disagree with. (This talk is by prior arrangement only.)

Talk 6  – 'The Delphi Message'

 (Know Thyself and Nothing to Excess’)

This talk although about the Delphi Message can be given in Athens or Delphi. It draws on several of Plato’s books about Socrates – and tries to give a view of the essential message of Socrates – being so similar to the two Delphi Maxims above the Temple door in Delphi. If anyone is looking to live a more philosophical or spiritual path – or even to walk the Socratic Path – then these two maxims are a good place to start in that endeavour. (This talk is by prior arrangement only.)

For further details, or to arrange one of these talks for yourself, your small group of friends, or your organisation contact:

Embryonic Activities: The Little Academy of Athens

The ancient Greeks had a saying that if you want to do something well: 'Start and finish with the hearth', and it is at the hearth (the kitchens and fireplaces of our homes) that The Little Academy of Athens has started its small and informal school/s for ‘real’ Greek philosophy.

The rationale is that if a little house was sufficient for the great Socratic philosopher Proclus to keep Plato's Academy and ideas alive in Athens during the 5th century CE - then it is certainly sufficient for the friends of the Socrates 4 Today project to meet and discuss various subjects and deepen their knowledge in the search for wisdom, truth and perhaps even philosophical enlightenment.

Over time it is hoped more and more friends of ‘real’ philosophy will pass through the The Little Academy of Athens, and as a result, shine more brightly and consistently in their own part of the world.