Philosophy in Greece and China
“The Seeds of Virtue in Ancient Greece and China”
Location: European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Delphi, Greece
Organising Institution: University of Crete
Dates: July 12-17, 2023
Ancient Greek and Chinese ethics were centrally concerned with questions about how to live one’s life, what is a life worth living, how to become good and flourish, how to deal with one’s emotions, how one should relate to friends and family, and what is a fair and just social, political, and legal order. In answering these questions, both ancient Greek and Chinese philosophers invoked virtues, that is, character traits people aspire to have and praise in others due to their nobility. In this workshop, we propose to examine and compare the virtue ethical approaches developed in these two philosophical traditions. Our goal is to explore the extent to which these authors posed similar questions, what concerns and motivations led them to focus on virtue acquisition and development, how they thought agents can learn and lead others to become virtuous, what is the role of intellect and emotion in the development of virtue, whether different groups of people should exhibit different virtues, and what is the relationship between personal virtue and a just political and legislative regime. This comparative exercise will allow us to fully appreciate the contributions made by these philosophical traditions to the question of how to live well and be good. At the same time, it will allow us to identify, and reflect upon, the affinities and points of divergence in their answers.
- Chloe Balla (University of Crete)
- Patricia Marechal (University of California, San Diego)
- Matthew Walker (Yale-NUS College)
- Claudia Yau (University of Houston)
Programme of the Summer School
“The seeds of virtue in ancient Greece and China”. From July 12 to 17, more than forty scholars from all over the world (USA, Singapore, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, and last but not least from Greece and China) specializing in philosophy, classics...
The Philosophical Research and Translation Laboratory of the Philosophical and Social Sciences Department of the University of Crete in collaboration with the Historical Museum of Crete organise three summer philosophy workshops for/with children at the Historical...
Chloe Balla is Associate Professor of ancient philosophy at the University of Crete, Director of the Philosophical Research and Translation Lab, UCRC (https://keme.uoc.gr/index.php/en/laboratories/school-of-humanities11/philosophical-research-and-translation-lab) and Secretary of the Centre of Greek and Chinese Ancient Civilizations (KELKIP). Her research focuses on the Sophists, the Hippocratic Corpus and Plato’s dialogues. She has published a Modern Greek translation of Aristotle’s Constitution of the Athenians (Athens 2015) and is co-editor of Plato’s Academy. Its Workings and Its History (Cambridge University Press, 2020). She has been a Junior Fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies and a Fellow at the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies and at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies.
Marta Jimenez is Associate Professor at the Philosophy Department of Emory University and María Zambrano Research Scholar at the Department "Filosofía y Sociedad" of the Complutense University of Madrid during 2022-24. Her primary area of research is ancient Greek and Roman philosophy. Her work focuses mainly on topics related to moral psychology, philosophy of action, theory of emotions, ethics and political thought in the ancient Greeks, and especially Plato, Aristotle, and the Cynics. She is author of Aristotle on Shame and Learning to Be Good (Oxford University Press, 2020) and is currently working on a manuscript entitled Aristotle on Justice as a Personal Virtue: Self-Love, Friendship and Equality.
David Konstan is Professor of Classics at New York University, USA. His research focuses on ancient Greek and Latin literature, especially comedy and the novel, and classical philosophy. In recent years, he has investigated the emotions and value concepts of classical Greece and Rome, and has written books on friendship, pity, the emotions, forgiveness, beauty, and love. He has also written on ancient physics and atomic theory, and has translated Seneca's two tragedies about Hercules into verse. His most recent book is The Origin of Sin: Greece and Rome, Early Judaism and Christianity.
Hagop Sarkissian is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the City University of New York, Baruch College, where he has been teaching for 15 years. He is also Professor of Philosophy at the CUNY Graduate Center. Most of his research is in moral psychology, broadly construed. He is a methodological pluralist and uses resources from other relevant disciplines to inform his work, such as evolutionary biology and the cognitive sciences. He also draws extensively from the history of Chinese philosophy, especially the classical period (ca. 6th to 2nd century BCE). He regularly teaches classes in ethics, metaethics, moral psychology, Chinese philosophy, philosophy of religion and experimental philosophy.
Bryan William Van Norden
Bryan W. Van Norden is James Monroe Taylor Chair in Philosophy at Vassar College (USA), and Chair Professor in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University (China). A recipient of Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Mellon fellowships, Van Norden has been honored as one of The Best 300 Professors in the US by The Princeton Review. Van Norden is author, editor, or translator of ten books on Chinese and comparative philosophy, including Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy (2011), Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto (2017), Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy: Han to the 20th Century (2014, with Justin Tiwald), Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2nd ed., 2005, with P.J. Ivanhoe), and most recently Classical Chinese for Everyone: A Guide for Absolute Beginners (2019). He has also published multiple op-eds in the New York Times, and written a Ted-Ed video on Confucius that has been viewed over half a million times. Many of his books and articles have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, Danish, Farsi, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish. His hobbies are poker (he has played in the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas) and video games.
Matthew D. Walker
Matthew D. Walker is an Associate Professor of Humanities (Philosophy) at Yale-NUS College, with a courtesy appointment in Philosophy at the National University of Singapore. Walker works principally in ancient Greek philosophy and comparative ethics. He is the author of Aristotle on the Uses of Contemplation (Cambridge University Press, 2018); "Aristotle's Eudemus and the Propaedeutic Use of the Dialogue Form" (winner of the 2021 Journal of the History of Philosophy article prize); and other articles and chapters on Aristotle, Confucius, Hume, Mengzi, Plato, and Zhu Xi. He is currently writing a book on immortality in Plato's Symposium and Phaedo.
Claudia Yau is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Houston. Her research focuses on ancient Greek epistemology and ethics. She is writing a monograph on wisdom (sophia) in Plato and Aristotle, which is supported by Loeb Classical Library Foundation grant. Her other work is on justice in Aristotle’s Ethics and the argumentative modes in Sextus Empiricus.
James Zainaldin is Assistant Professor and Mellon Foundation Dean’s Faculty Fellow in of Classical and Mediterranean Studies at Vanderbilt University. Previously he was Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma and Loeb Classical Library Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard University. He has published several articles on Greco-Roman science and philosophy as well as Greco-Roman/Chinese comparative studies. His first book is a commentary on the fragmentary Latin agricultural writings of the third-century Roman author Gargilius Martialis (Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries, 2020). His second book (forthcoming) presents the first full-scale, synthetic study of the artes of the early Roman Empire, and his third book (under contract for Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics) is a commentary on the Roman philosopher Seneca’s Consolation to Marcia. Zainaldin 翟牧泗 remains intensely committed to comparative Greco-Roman/Chinese studies and continues as a student of classical and Mandarin Chinese.
The 2023 Summer School was an enlightening week of presentations and discussions on the most recent research in ancient ethics. It focused on cross-cultural work between Greek and Chinese traditions, and encouraged its participants to think across academic boundaries. Truly a valuable experience!
- TL, Georgetown University
A great opportunity to get inspired by wonderful scholars around the world! These six days really gave me new understandings of both traditions and motivated me to rethink about how to conduct comparative philosophy research.
- Tang, Tufts University
I really enjoyed participating in this fantastic summer school, where we could share our views and experiences with people from all over the world! I made new friends and developed new interests in the field of philosophy, even though I am a Classics student.
The Summer School in Delphi 2023 is one of the key moments in my academic life. It is truly an invaluable experience to learn from and interact with the leading experts in the field and bright young scholars around the world. To have this precious experience at such a historic place is the cherry on top.
- Jiseob, Princeton University
Learned a lot, had much fun, and made wonderful friends!
- Jingyi, UT Austin
The 2023's summer school was a series of conferences that took place at the magical Delphi of Greece. The peaceful scenery near the archeological site (and museum) of Delphi created the best atmosphere for us all to concentrate on matters on the antiquity, especially virtue ethics. The presence of both Chinese and Greek academics was showcasing the mutual interest of people on ancient Greek and ancient Chinese Philosophy. The program was easily to follow and it was really pleasant to see people continuing their conversations on the matters presented after the end of each lecture. As a result, many friendships and collaborations are sure to flourish in the following years. Overall it was a very important experience and meeting point for diverse opinions and people to discuss on virtue ethics and many more topics. I really hope next year's summer school will be as fruitful as this one!
I am delighted to share my experience with the Summer School "The seeds of virtue in ancient Greece and China" (Delphi, Greece, 12-17 July 2023). Participating in the program has been a transformative journey. The insightful lectures and engaging discussions have truly enriched my perspective. I've gained valuable insights that have enriched my academic and personal growth.
Seeds of Virtue was a wonderful opportunity to learn from leading scholars of the early periods of two great philosophical traditions, to meet junior researchers in relevant fields, and to get a taste of what things will be like in the near future, when study of the Greek and Chinese thought has become more fully integrated.
- Luke, Columbia University
The Summer School was an incredible experience! In addition to having a wonderful speaker lineup, participants (speakers and students) were extremely friendly and welcoming during our time together. The programme was very well designed, with many occasions created for formal and informal philosophical dialogues among participants. The speakers were extremely supportive in their manner, and I learnt very much from our few days together. Being able to have the space and time to 'do' philosophy with others, and 'think' philosophy alone, in Delphi - its significant history and unparalleled scenery - was immensely refreshing. Hats off to Chloe and the organising committee (Chloe, Patricia, Matt and Claudia) for planning a successful and enjoyable Summer School!
This was a fabulous week of philosophical reflections and rigorous discussion that could not have taken place in a more beautiful environment. The organisational committee was flawless and lasting friendships and professional ties were forged over the week. A very memorable intellectual and social experience!
- Beth, The University of Hong Kong
A great summer school with a series of informative and inspiring talks from famous scholars in this area!
- ZW, University of Texas at Austin
Summer school location
European Cultural Centre of Delphi
The website of the action “Promoting the Study of Ancient Greek and Chinese Culture” (1/1/2023-30/11/2023) of the partnership of four Greek university institutions: the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), the University of Patras (UP) and the University of Crete (UC).
The project aims to promote the study of ancient Greek and Chinese culture with emphasis on their comparative approach. It is noted that the implementing bodies of the action are also shareholders of the non-profit company “Centre for Greek and Chinese Culture” (Greek acronym: K.EL.KI.P.).
The project “Promoting the Study of Ancient Greek and Chinese Culture” (MIS 5187974) is co-financed by Greece by the European Union (European Social Fund- ESF) by the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning 2014-2020”.
MA in Ancient Philosophy
The Athens MA in Ancient Philosophy is an intensive one-year graduate program offering in-depth knowledge of Ancient Philosophy and high-level research training in its various fields.
The Program promotes the study of Ancient Greek Philosophy in its entire historical and thematic range, from the Pre-Socratics to the philosophers of Late Antiquity, covering topics in metaphysics, ethics, epistemology, etc. It is the only program in Greece (and among a few worldwide) that focuses solely on Ancient Philosophy as a subject of systematic study and research, laying also special emphasis on the historical background and modern reception of Ancient Philosophy.
The Athens MA is the result of a collaboration between four major Greek universities, which have joined forces to create a highly competitive Program, cooperating in teaching and supervision. Courses will be taught in Athens by professors from Greek universities, as well as by visiting scholars from international institutions. Upon completion of the Program, students will be able to conduct both independent and collaborative research and will be well prepared to undertake doctoral studies. The Program is offered in-person only and admits up to 20 students per academic year.
University of Crete
Established in 1973, the University of Crete is a young public educational institution sited in a region rich in ancient and modern Mediterranean cultures. Currently around 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students study here through the Schools of Philosophy, Education, Social Sciences, Sciences & Technology, and Medicine, taught by an outward looking academic staff committed to quality in teaching, research, and community partnerships.
Why study at the University of Crete:
University of Crete at a glance:
“MA in Greek and Chinese Civilizations: a comparative approach” is the first Master Program worldwide that cultivates the comparative approach to the Ancient Greek and Chinese Civilizations and the only one that combines one year of studies in China and one year of studies in Europe.
The Program is geared towards providing you with solid and deep knowledge in both the Ancient Greek and the Chinese civilizations from a comparative perspective and towards preparing you for higher research in the field.
Duration: The Program lasts for two years (4 semesters).
Location: Chongqing and Patras.
The Courses of the 1st year of studies will be held at Southwest University, China. The Courses of the 2nd year of studies will be held at the University of Patras, Greece.