On the Teaching of Ethics from Polemo to Arcesilaus, Études platoniciennes 14 (December 2018)
Making Sense of Citizen Dissent, Hannah Arendt Center (Quote of the Week, 9 November 2018)
Charles E. Snyder is currently Associate Fellow at Bard College, The Hannah Arendt Center for Politics and the Humanities. At the moment his primary fields of research include ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, in particular the philosophy of the Academy in the early Hellenistic period (from Polemo to Carneades) in its confrontation with the materialist ontology of Stoic ethics, and contemporary political theories of dissent and disobedience. In 2019, Charles will be Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Classical Studies at the University of London.
In 2014-15, he was appointed Postdoctoral Fellow at The Hannah Arendt Center and a Teaching Fellow at the Bard Prison Initiative, a college-in-prison program that grants Bard College degrees to incarcerated men and women at medium and maximum security prisons. In the spring of 2014, he earned a PhD in philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York City, where he also earned an M.A. in Philosophy with a concentration in Psychoanalysis. He was Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Bulgaria in the spring of 2018, and a former Research Fellow at the University of Hamburg, Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies, Jewish Scepticism.
Here is a draft of a recent paper on the New Academy: pre-published draft, “Plato and the Freedom of the New Academy,” Brill’s Companion to the Reception of Plato in Antiquity.
A video of a 2017 lecture at the Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies in Hamburg, Germany:
Academic Skepticism and the Teachability of Ethics
Less than a century after Plato’s death, the Academy’s scholarch Arcesilaus of Pitane inaugurates a peculiar oral phase of Academic philosophy, deciding not to write philosophical works or openly teach his own doctrines. Scholars often attribute a radical change of direction to the school under his headship, taking early Stoic epistemology to be the primary target of the New Academy’s attack on Stoic philosophy. This paper defends a rival view of Arcesilaus’ Academic revolution. Shifting the focus of that attack from epistemology to ethics, the paper illuminates the continuity in development from Polemo to Arcesilaus and the evidence corroborating this continuity.
*International Conference, Scepticism from Antiquity to Modern Times. Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies, Universität Hamburg, May 8–10, 2017