Philosophers on Friendship
ἄλλος αὐτὸς ό φίλος.
“A friend is another self.” (Aristotle)
“To have friends arrive from afar, is this not a joy?” (Confucius)
Quarterly Seminar Series
Join us for our quarterly seminar series, free to subscribers of our slow reading program, students in our Greek and Latin program and subscribers to the Symposium newsletter. (To sign up for our newsletter, scroll to the very bottom of this page and enter your email!)
The theme for the series is friendship. What is true friendship? How important is it for human happiness? And how does the special, exclusive love of friendship stand with respect to a general, universal love of humankind?
Some authors we will read include: Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Montaigne, Kant, Emerson, and Kierkegaard.
August’s reading was Plato’s Lysis. Next reading in May 2023 TBD.
Session time: Sunday, 5:30-7:00 pm Central (6:30-8:00 EST, 3:30-5:00 Pacific)
Our Approach: No prior experience with any of the aforementioned philosophers is required, neither is prior knowledge of ‘Greek philosophy’ or ‘philosophy’. Here at Symposium Great Books Institute, we practice dialogue and ‘fresh thinking and reading’ – not monologue – and not even ‘philosophy’ (whatever that is in fact. This means two things at once: on the one hand, the seminar is a conversation and not a lecture. The emphasis is not placed on how many factoids we can share, but rather on how we understand the text itself, what is in common at the table. On the other hand, the conversation itself will be collaborative and not a debate. The aim of our conversational reading is to build reflective understanding together through engagement with the text and with each other in conversation. Please consult our Reader’s Guide to Conversation for tips and guidelines.
Each quarterly seminar is one session, 1.5 hours. Sign up below to reserve your spot and receive a link to text.