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Discourse, debates & exchange in the spirit of a "free and public enquiry"... among the olives

The May Philosophic Encounter

Photo Album of the encounter
Date held
: 30th May - 1st June 2008
Venue: Elea/Ascea, The Cilento Italy
Principle Speaker: Dott. Roberto Baldini
Principle Language
: Italian
Second Language: English

The talk will be relatively informal with ample opportunity for listeners to interact. Participants may also propose their own brief presentations centred around the weekend's theme. This is an interesting and useful way of testing one's ideas.

Roberto Baldini
Languages: Italian, English


- Origins of Greek philosophy
- Parmenides and the Eleatic School
- Philosophy after Parmenides

Roberto Baldini holds a degree in Philosophy from the University of Parma. His graduation thesis was on the poem of Parmenides. He now undertakes independent research on the subject of ancient Greek philosophy, particularly pre-socratic, with especial interest in the influences of these on the psychology and history of the development of religious thought.

First day - Arrivals in afternoon. Talk given by Roberto Baldini on Origins of Ancient Greek Philosophy. A preliminary introductory on the philosophy and cosmogony of the ancients (pre-Socratics) including Thales, Pythagoras and Heraclitus.

20.00: Dinner- Cilento foods, wine and olive oil produced by our host family are served as the local Cilentan cuisine.

Second Day - Breakfast.

09.30 Talk given by Roberto Baldini on Parmenides' poem On Nature and his philosophy, with breaks and possibility of interacting.

13.00 Lunch - this can be arranged independently or provided by the agriturismo on request by anyone attending the talks.

Lunch will be followed by a visit to the ancient settlement of Elea.

Afternoon talk on Parmenides and also Zeno of Elea; the later Atomists Democritus & Lucretius; and Empedocles. Resolution of the conflicting philosophies of Parmenides and Heraclitus. Adding as nice atmosphere to the talks, they may be held in part at archeological site of Elea itself.

There will then be independent free time till dinner during which visitors can explore the area or enjoy the beach.

19.30 Dinner. There may also be local attendance at the dinner - an opportunity to meet the descendents of Parmenides.

In the evening, participants also have the possibility of presenting their ideas/papers, after which everyone can discuss the issues raised as well as try to find an answer to the fundamental question "Why does something exist rather than nothing?". The person who comes up with the "more persuasive explanation" will receive a basket with salami, cheese, oil and wine (all genuine products of Cilento).

Third day - Breakfast.

09.30: Concluding talk by Roberto Baldini and further personal presentations and discussion, if desired.


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