2016 Athens: Kyriakos Demetriou, Cyprus University

We are pleased to announce that Dr. Kyriakos Demetriou, Professor of Political Thought at the University of Cyprus, will be our international guest speaker.

Dr. Kyriakos Demetriou

As an intellectual historian, Kyriakos N. Demetriou specializes in the history of classical reception(s), with emphasis on eighteenth and nineteenth-century Platonic interpretations, the classical heritage in Victorian Britain, and the history of Greek historiography. His teaching is mainly focused on the history of political thought (ancient and modern), political ideologies and the interpretative approaches in political theory.

DPhil University College London (Intellectual History, 1993)
MA University of York (Political Philosophy, 1989)
BA University of Athens (Political Science, 1987)

Executive Editor of "POLIS" (2004-present): The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought (Peer reviewed). For the Journal's ranking in Classics Journals follow this link: http://www.scimagojr.com/journalrank.php?category=1205
Publisher: Brill Academic Publishers

Founding Series Overseeing Editor (2012-), "Companions to Classical Reception", published by Brill.

Member of the Editorial Board of “Metaforms – Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity”, http://www.brill.nl/publications/metaforms

Member of the International Advisory Board of "Innovation", The European Journal of Social Science Research

Formerly member of the Standing Committee for the Humanities, European Science Foundation.

(From ucy.academia.edu/KyriakosDemetriou)

For more information and works, see here

Professor Demetriou will give a research seminar on the following topic: “Plato redivivus: Ideology and politics in the Interpretation of Plato”.

Research Seminar Abstract

The history of Platonism is a mining field of philosophical worldviews, political ideologies, religious mysticism, utopias and mythology.

One can claim that Platonism so- called is a history of various interpretations linked to a variety of intentions, conventions, conceptual innovations, easily traceable or masterfully hidden within the exegetical texts. Hence, the original Plato remains a fragmented figure, shadowed, like an enigmatic painting – its secret seems to be deeply impressed in the cells of the canvas.

Understandably, after all, we have to reinvent Plato for ourselves, reconstructing anew the texts and the dialogues, yet we are virtually constrained by our subjectivity which might be in tension with our lively desire to render the philosopher in his original form. Powerful constraints blur our vision, gigantic obstacles – such as contextualism, the “methodology of coherence” and systematization, etc. There are many epistemological issues involved in such enterprise, the interpretation of ideas is still a highly contested field. In this seminar issues of interpretation are embodied in the narrative itself.

Primarily, I aim to offer you at least two distinctly contrasting images of Plato, within a span of a century or less – the British Plato of the nineteenth century (which is not one but many (!) – for example, the “utilitarian Plato”, the “idealist Plato”, the “oculist Plato”) and the early twentieth-century Platonic representations in totalitarian and anti-totalitarian literature, culminating in a sustained anti-Platonic polemics such as Karl Poper’s “Open Society”. We may provisionally define, amidst obscurity and contradictions, those two Platos as the “liberal”, open-minded Plato, the purely Socratist and inquisitive and the totalitarian Plato. Can Plato be rescued from the impetuousness of his followers, of his disciples and interpreters?


Published Aug. 2, 2016 3:29 PM - Last modified Apr. 25, 2019 1:08 PM