Big brains return to where it all began

More than 2,000 intellectuals, including octogenarian thinkers Jurgen Habermas and Umberto Eco, are expected in Athens next month for the 23rd World Congress of Philosophy.

Lectures and discussions during this year’s gathering, which will run from August 4-10, will concentrate on “Philosophy as inquiry and way of life,” organizers said.

It is the first time that the annual event is held at what is considered the cradle of Western philosophy. The event is meant to coincide with the 2,400-year anniversary since Plato founded his famous Academy, the world-famous site where the Greek philosophy giant taught until his late death.

The Academy, the Pnyx – a theater-like area on the hill west of the Acropolis where the assembly of the Athenians held its meetings – the recently-unveiled Aristotle’s Lyceum and the Aghia Fotini church on what used to be the banks of the now-covered Ilissos River will host some of the keynote seminars, organizers said. The rest of the sessions will be held at the Philosophy School of the University of Athens.

Apart from the German philosopher and sociologist Habermas, and Italian novelist and semiotician Eco, organizers have booked a large number of leading intellectuals in the field such as Alexander Nehamas, Dermot Moran, Luca Scarantino and Enrico Berti.

The congress – organized by the International Federation of Philosophical Societies, the Greek Philosophical Society and UNESCO – will launch with a concert at the Herod Atticus Theater.

For more information, contact the Greek Philosophical Society, tel 210.727.7545

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