Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Ideas@theHouse: March 2023

Governor of NSW Crest-Silver and Gold-2020Ideas@theHouse

presented by

Her Excellency the Honourable
Margaret Beazley AC KC, Governor of NSW

Dr John Vallance
“Aristotle on life and thought in the sub-lunary sphere”

Dr John Vallance FRSN FAHA
State Librarian of NSW

Date: Thursday, 2 March 2023, 6.30 pm AEST
Venue: Live streamed from Government House Sydney
Video presentation: YouTube video
Society Members and Fellows, and members of the public are welcome

Summary: Early in the sixteenth century, Raphael imagined the pantheon of ancient philosophers in a famous picture called “The School of Athens”. Aristotle appears there as a relatively young man amongst the bearded savants, and this lecture aims to show that his vigorous intellectual presence is still very much felt today, especially in the biological sciences, jurisprudence, ethics, political theory and literary criticism.

Aristotle’s thought is notoriously complex and difficult to grasp - even in general terms. Dr Vallance will attempt an exposition of the structure and purpose behind Aristotelian philosophy accessible to the non-philosopher, and will throw in some Aristotelian tips for living well and productively along the way.

Dr John Vallance (BA Sydney, MA, PhD Cambridge) FRSN FAHA is the NSW State Librarian. The first part of his career was spent as a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College Cambridge, where he taught Greek, Latin and ancient philosophy. Then he served as Headmaster of Sydney Grammar School between 1999 and 2017. He has published widely in the field of ancient philosophy and medicine - including a large number of articles intended for the non-specialist reader, in the Oxford Classical Dictionary.

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