Public Programs And Events

Public Seminar's Discussion of 'The Parthenon and Liberal Education' with Michael Weinman

Public Seminar's Discussion of 'The Parthenon and Liberal Education' with Michael Weinman

Wolff Conference Room, Room D1103, Albert and Vera List Academic Center
General Public,  

The event will feature Michael Weinman, Professor of Philosophy at Bard College Berlin and Contributing Editor at, in conversation with Dmitri Nikulin, Professor of Philosophy, New School for Social Research and Mirjam Kotwick, Onassis Lecturer in Ancient Greek Thought and Language, New School for Social Research. Their discussion will be focused around Weinman's latest book, co-authored with Geoff Lehman, The Parthenon and Liberal Education.

The Parthenon and Liberal Education seeks to restore the study of mathematics to its original place of prominence in the liberal arts. To build this case, Geoff Lehman and Michael Weinman turn to Philolaus, a near contemporary of Socrates. The authors demonstrate the influence of his work involving number theory, astronomy, and harmonics on Plato’s Republic and Timaeus, and outline its resonance with the program of study in the early Academy and with the architecture of the Parthenon. Lehman and Weinman argue that the Parthenon can be seen as the foremost embodiment of the practical working through of mathematical knowledge in its time, serving as a mediator between the early reception of Ancient Near-Eastern mathematical ideas and their integration into Greek thought as a form of liberal education, as the latter came to be defined by Plato and his followers. With its Doric architecture characterized by symmetria (commensurability) and harmonia (harmony; joining together), concepts explored contemporaneously by Philolaus, the Parthenon engages dialectical thought in ways that are of enduring relevance for the project of liberal education. 


Presented by The New School for Social Research

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