Philosophers from around the world gathered at the place where their practice really had its roots – Plato’s Academy – in an Athens neighborhood as part of a series of events for the 23d World Philosophy Congress which is meeting through Aug. 10, in Greece for the first time.
“At the site of Plato’s Academy you cannot but feel awe for the philosophers who thousands of years ago dedicated their lives to the research in order to leave the legacy of their monumental work,” said Georgios Anagnostopoulos, professor at the University of California San Diego said, while welcoming the audience.
Anagnostopoulos also reminded of Cicero’s observation that one can be more deeply moved at the place of Academy, as it is there where he can bring Plato, Aristotle, Speusippus and Xenocrates in front of his eyes. “If a holy place of philosophy existed, that will certainly be Plato’s Academy,” said Anagnostopoulos.
Italian philosopher and president of the International Institute of Philosophy in Paris, Enrico Berti talked about the common language of Aristotle’s work with the foundations of Western Civilization, while in his speech he jokingly apologized because it was Aristotle who monopolized his speech and not Plato. As he reminded, however, Aristotle spent 20 years of his life at the Academy while he spent only 12 years at the school he founded.
The Vice President of the Greek Parliament George Kalatzis saluted the works of the congress focusing his speech at the relation between philosophy and politics. German philosopher Jurgen Habermas called for greater inclusion to fight the democratic deficit in the European Union which he slammed as an “elite project.”
The 84-year intellectual, an avid supporter of European integration, also defended debt-hit Greece’s place in the common currency area. “I do not think that Greece’s euro exit would be a good idea economically or politically,” Habermas said