CONF: The Musical Structure of Plato’s Dialogues

Seen on the Classicists list:

July 5th 2012, 1-5pm

In collaboration with the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester

Jay Kennedy’s new book *The Musical Structure of Plato’s Dialogues* has stirred much scholarly interest. The *Bryn Mawr Classical Review* recently described the work as ‘a ground-breaking study of Plato’s dialogues’ presenting ‘an entirely new way of thinking about Plato’.

The Classics Department at the University of Leeds, with the support of the Centre for the History of Science, Tecnhology and Medicine at the University of Manchester, is pleased to announce a one-day colloquium on July 5th 2012 to allow closer analysis of Dr Kennedy’s radically new and controversial approach.

Dr Kennedy (Manchester) will outline the evidence for the book’s main claims and summarize recent responses by classicists, philosophers, and historians of ancient music. Structured dialogue will investigate the method and its implications for interpreting the composition and structures of Plato’s texts and, more broadly, for classical philosophy, literature, and music. Leading interlocutors will be Dr Elizabeth Pender (Leeds), Professor Malcolm Heath (Leeds), and Professor Dominic Scott (Virginia). But most of the programme will consist of round-table discussion and enquiry built upon a progressive set of themes and questions. The Ancient Greek text will be the primary focus but translations will also be made available. Key dialogues will be *Euthyphro* and *Cleitophon*.

Through the Renaissance it was common to view Plato as a symbolic or allegorical writer. His ancient followers maintained that Plato, using symbols, concealed within his dialogues a Pythagorean philosophy. Dr Kennedy argues that a regular pattern of musical symbols in the *Symposium* and *Euthyphro* form a well-known, ancient scale. These and other symbols carry philosophical content that corroborates ancient views of Plato and promises to challenge much recent scholarship. Kennedy’s *Apeiron* (2010) article introducing his approach is available online at:

To reserve a place, or for further information, please contact: Dr Elizabeth Pender (e.e.pender AT Since selected study materials will be provided for participants, advance booking is essential.

Folks might also check out some Kennedy-related posts at rc via: Kennedy on Strauss on Plato

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