What Becomes of a Soul: Hope for a Philosophical City in the Myth of Er


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Wednesday, October 2, 2019


5:30 pm


Rockefeller Hall 200-Auditorium

Nick Pappas, Professor of Philosophy, Graduate Center, CUNY
October 2, 2019 5:30-7:00 pm
Philosopher's Holiday Lecture Series

What Becomes of a Soul: Hope for a Philosophical City in the Myth of Er

What can the myth of Er in the Republic be saying about the possibility of the new city? Will the reincarnated Homeric heroes be seen as such and be available to govern? This talk will address how 'vision', as 'eyesight' and as 'insight', is needed for the mythical souls to choose their new lives, as well as how this vision can fail. This may help us understand the myth of the reincarnation of the Homeric heroes and their imagined position in the city in a way we can even connect to the practice of philosophy. If philosophy takes perception and perfects it, we can understand today’s philosophers as an avant-garde, finding the heroic talent being born into the world and making it the guardian class of the new city. But if philosophical thinking points in a direction opposite to ordinary thinking, the vision of a new city and heaven on earth might exist only for philosophers.

Sponsored by the Philosophy Department

Angela Smith

Philosophy Department