Plato’s Alcibiades I Revisited [Cambridge, Sep 20-22, 2018]



Registration is now open! The conference ‘Plato’s Alcibiades I revisited’, will take place at the Faculty of Classics at the University of Cambridge on the 20th-22nd September 2018. A preliminary program can be found below.

Attendance is free and the conference is open to all, but for the purposes of planning and budgeting we ask those planning to attend to fill in a short registration form, accessible at this webadress:

For information about how to get there and accessibility, see below. If you have any questions about the conference, please do not hesitate to contact us on



Although the Platonic dialogue Alcibiades I was highly regarded in late antiquity and occupied a prominent place within the Neoplatonist curriculum, the dialogue has suffered from relative neglect both within classical and philosophical scholarship ever since Schleiermacher denounced it as spurious at the beginning of the 19th century. Over the last three decades, there has been a renewed interest in the dialogue, but although articles on the Alcibiades are appearing with increased frequency, book-length studies of the dialogue are still few, and many parts and aspects of the dialogue are yet largely under-explored.

The aim of this conference is both to gather current research on the Alcibiades I and to throw new light on the dialogue, exploring topics that have so far not been thoroughly discussed. The conference will bring together scholars who have been central in rekindling the renewed interest in Alcibiades I, while welcoming contributions from new researchers on the dialogue, including early career researchers and graduate students. Questions that might be addressed include, but are not limited to, questions about self-hood and self-knowledge, the soul-body relationship, politics and political influence, love, the role of the divine within the dialogue, as well as questions about authenticity and the place of the Alcibiades I within – or outside of – the Platonic corpus.




20th September

10.00-10.50 Coffee and Registration

10.50-11.00 Welcome

11.00-12.00 Bruce King (NYU): “Contra-Factual Dialogues of Self and Other”

12.15-13.15 Albert Joosse (University of Utrecht): ‘The Place of Political Reflection in the Alcibiades I

13.15-14.15 Lunch

14.15-15.15 Olof Pettersson (Uppsala University): “Know Your Place: Power and Authenticity in Plato’s Alcibiades I

15.15-16.15 Carol Atack (University of Oxford): “Kingship, Gender and Knowledge in Socrates’ ‘Royal Fable’ (Alcibiades I 120a5- 124b6)”

16.30-17.30 Tony Leyh (Emory): “Political Friendship as Knowledgeable Homonoia in Alcibiades I


21st September

09.30-10.30 Nicholas D. Smith (Lewis & Clark): “Homonoia in the Alcibiades I

10.45-11.45 Toomas Lott (Tartu University): “Disagreement and Knowledge”

12.00-13.00 Jakub Jirsa (Charles University, Prague): “The Sphinx, Typhon and the Self”

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.00 Christopher Moore (Pennsylvania State University): “Sôphrosunê in the Alcibiades

15.00-16.00 Sean M. Costello (University of Oxford): “The Dangers of a User-Based Model of the Self – a Regress at Alcibiades I 129b–130c”

16.30-17.30 Pauliina Remes (Uppsala University): “Medicines Drenched in Honey: Olympiodorus on Why Plato’s Methodology is Superior to Others”

18.15-20.00 Conference Dinner at The Pint Shop, 10 Peas Hill, Cambridge


22nd September

09.30-10.30 Ellisif Wasmuth (University of Essex): “How to Look at the Eye Analogy: a Layered Reading of 132d1–133c8(17)”

10.45-11.45 Dan Sheffler (Georgetown): “Is the True Self God at Alcibiades 133c?”

12.00-13.00 Siobhan Marie Doyle (UC Dublin): “Re-cognizing Plato’s Concept of Self Through Kierkegaard”

13.00-14.00 Lunch

14.00-15.00 Ursula Coope (University of Oxford): “Proclus on Responsibility, Self-Movement, and Inquiry”

15.15-16.15 Harold Tarrant (University of Newcastle): “The Alcibiades II as a critique of the Alcibiades I: Examining the Differences”



How to get there


Cambridge is accessible by rail and road, and is connected by coach service to London airports.




There is regular service to Cambridge from London King’s Cross station (and a slower one from London Liverpool St. station) during the day and evening. Timetables and booking are available here:

Tickets may be purchased in advance or at the rail stations.




Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports are connected to Cambridge by coach. Visit for timetables and details. Coaches are best booked in advance to ensure a place.

Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted are also connected to Cambridge by rail links: direct in the case of Stansted and Gatwick, or in the other cases, connecting via central London. Please visit for details.




Stagecoach Bus offers a regular service to/from Oxford.

By car, Cambridge can be accessed from the A14 junction 31 and the M11 junction 11 or 12. It is not generally advisable to drive to Cambridge, as overnight parking is not provided by colleges, and day parking is heavily restricted. Some hotels provide overnight parking. Please check before driving to Cambridge.


Directions to the Faculty & Accessibility


The conference will take place in rooms G.21 and 1.11 at the Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Ave, Cambridge, CB3 9DA. (Map:,0.110282,18)



There is wheelchair access to both rooms G.21 and 1.11. G.21 is on the ground floor and accessible via a ramp. Room 1.11 and the room where lunch will be served are on the first floor. There is a lift (with space for a large wheelchair) to the first floor. The door to the lift and the main rooms are not all automatic. There is lightly padded seating, an accessible toilet – also with a non-automatic door – and a common room that can be used as a quiet space outside of lunchtimes. There is general car parking, and blue badge parking by request in advance. We will not be able to offer a hearing loop, or a bsl interpreter, but we can provide handouts in large print, and possibly in advance, on request. We wish the conference to be accessible and open to all, so please let us know if there are additional features we could provide to make it possible for you to attend the conference. You can use the registration form or contact us about access on


The conference is organized by Pauliina Remes (Uppsala), Olof Pettersson (Uppsala), Frisbee Sheffield (Cambridge) and Ellisif Wasmuth (Essex) and it has been generously supported by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences (RJ), the British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP), the Mind Association, the Classical Association and the Aristotelian Society.





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