“Parsing Vision” (Seeing and Saying: Parsing Plato on Knowledge)


Please join us for the first Classics talk of the Spring Quarter, where we we are delighted to welcome MM McCabe, fresh off delivering this year’s triumphant Sather lectures at UC Berkeley. Below is a brief description of her talk and a schedule for the remaining Classics lectures this quarter. Please note that there is a correction regarding the date of our lecture the following week. We hope that you will join us!

MM McCabe  

(Visiting Sather Professor of Classics, UC Berkeley, Professor Emerita of Ancient Philosophy, King’s College London)

“Parsing Vision” (Seeing and Saying: Parsing Plato on Knowledge)

Thursday, April 6th @ 4.10pm, 912 Sproul Hall

The Republic is dominated by the idiom of seeing: to describe the framing encounters, the ordinary business of our engagement with the perceptible world, and the extraordinary business of the intellect and its development of knowledge. But the account of vision that underlies all of this has rich cognitive content, which makes it possible to think about vision as a faculty that can be developed, improved and even perfected. There is considerable plausibility in this view of vision; Platonic art can tell us about our own aesthetic experience.  This exposes an unexpected fertility in the analogy between vision and intellection.

As always, refreshments will be provided!


We can also look forward to several other talks coming up during the Spring quarter.

Winthrop (Pete) Wetherbee             Wed. April. 12 @ 4.10pm (912 Sproul Hall)

“Twelfth-Century Humanism and the Metamorphosis Goliae Episcopi”(Annual David Traill Lecture)

The Metamorphosis Goliae Episcopi offers a rich example of the influence of the humanism of the twelfth-century schools, and the Latin poetry it generated, on the vernacular poetry of love and chivalry. In the Metamorphosis itself, the allegory of Martianus Capella’s Marriage of Philology and Mercury provides the framework for a scathing rebuke to the intolerance of the forces of orthodoxy, as illustrated by the attack of St. Bernard and his Cistercians on the theology of Peter Abelard. Platonizing mythography becomes a vehicle of social criticism. The impact of the Metamorphosis can be seen in contemporary Latin lyric, and in such vernacular poems as the Roman d’Eneas, the Erec et Enide of Chrétien de Troyes, and the Roman de la Rose.

Mary Bachvarova,                              Wed. May 3 @ 4.10pm (912 Sproul Hall)

Title, TBD

Alexandra Sofroniew                         Wed. May. 22 @ 4.10pm (912 Sproul Hall)

“Changing tastes in votive offerings from early Italy: from enthroned goddesses to wine and sex”