About the Centre

About the Centre

What We Do.

The Trinity Plato Centre organizes and directs a variety of activities in the area of the history of Platonism and contemporary philosophy in the Platonist tradition.

Although based in Trinity College Dublin, the Centre draws its members from all the major universities in the Dublin area. It combines several subject areas in addition to its core disciplines: Philosophy and Classics.

The Postgraduate and Postdoctoral Work-in-Progress Seminar is one of the regular core activities of the Centre with the aim of providing a forum in which advanced students and researchers can present their work–in–progress on a regular basis for the scrutiny of each other and of scholars in attendance.

The Visiting Speaker Colloquium attracts distinguished scholars from around the world and has for many years been a lively venue for discussion and debate – typically extending into convivial evenings.

The Annual Stephen MacKenna Lecture is named in commemoration of the great Irish translator of Plotinus and is designed to honor distinguished contemporary scholars working in the field of Plato and the Platonic tradition. This initiative is also aimed at engaging the wider public through lectures that combine rigorous historical scholarship with a sensitivity to contemporary issues.

The regular Workshops that the Centre hosts (typically one or two each year), bring together a number of distinguished scholars with the students and researchers resident in the Centre to spend a day or two in intensive discussion on a particular topic—typically one that is relevant to the research of one of our graduate students or Postdoctoral Fellows.

The weekly reading seminar goes back to the original founding of the Centre and its aim is to bring together scholars and students to engage in close readings of core texts from the Platonic tradition, and modern philosophical texts that have a Platonic influence.

The supervision of Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Fellows is one of the primary functions of the Centre. The Centre has a proud tradition of providing support and supervision for candidates who are working toward the M.Litt and Ph.D. degrees. Postgraduate students who are enrolled in any of the major Dublin universities in Philosophy, Classics or a related discipline, and are working on a topic within the Platonic Tradition may seek supervision with one of the members of the Centre. We also host visiting students who are doing graduate work at at institutions outside of Dublin and Ireland, but would like to come and work at the Centre for one or two semesters. For further details, please contact us.

The international Conferences that the Centre organizes and hosts bring together eminent scholars in the field of ancient philosophy to deliver high-quality research papers on a given topic. These conferences frequently generate publications in top journals and academic presses.



Library and Seminar Room

On October 21, 2004, there took place the formal opening, by the then Provost of Trinity College Dublin, Professor John Hegarty, of the library and seminar room of the Centre located in the 1937 Reading Room in the Front Square of Trinity College Dublin.

The Centre, originally founded in 1997, at long last had a permanent home.

The premises in which we conduct our activities also house the largest collection of books relating to Platonism in the Republic of Ireland: some 3,500 volumes donated to the Centre by Professor John Dillon, the late Professors John J Cleary and JV Luce, and Professor Vasilis Politis.