Before the word “symposium” assumed its current meaning—essentially a formal academic conference—it meant “drinking party.” Throughout ancient Greek and Roman times it was a practice in which a group of people would gather together in the evening and enjoy wine, food, and conversation. Invited guests would take turns giving short speeches in answer to some question or other. The great exemplar, of course, is Plato’s Symposium in which Socrates and several others give competing speeches on the question of love (eros): what is it?
We’ve decided to revive this practice here on Philosophy Crush. In May we will post here for your listening pleasure our inaugural symposium, on the same topic—as seems fitting—of Plato’s Symposium. What is love indeed? This seems to us as good a place to begin as any, and we’ve invited several philosophers to participate: Jeff Mitscherling, Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray, Antonio Calcagno, Shannon Dea, Charlene Elsby, Robert Luzecky, and Philosophy Crush regulars Robert Faucher and Paul Fairfield. Each participant will speak for several minutes followed by general conversation.
Finally—and this is key—since a symposium is a drinking party, wine will need to be consumed and in generous (possibly very generous) quantity, in keeping with ancient tradition.
This event is being recorded on April 26 and will be released in early May. Stay tuned.