Visiting Fellow, Summer 2019
Panagiotis Thanassas is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Aristotle University of Thessalo-niki. He has studied Law in Athens and Philosophy in Tübingen, where he received his Ph.D. (1996) with a dissertation on Parmenides. He has also taught at the Universities of Tübingen, Heidelberg, Munich and Cyprus. He is a fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and has also received fellowships from the Evangelisches Studienwerk “Villigst”, from DAAD and from DFG. His research interests focus on Greek philosophy (Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle), German Idealism (Hegel), Heidegger and Philosophical Hermeneutics. His work has been published in journals such as Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Review of Metaphysics, Journal of Philosophical Research, Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung, Rhizai, Allgemeine Zeitschrift für Philosophie, Gnomon, Rhizomata, Philosophische Rundschau, Deucalion and Hypomnema.
The work on my research topic “The Republic and its Proems: Justice as Happiness” resulted into a large paper submitted for publication. In this publication, I investigate the ways in which, in the first sentence of the dialogue, Socrates introduces the motif of descent into the space of the Political, and how the first scene illustrates the tension generated by this descent. In view of the first Book, I describe the emergence of the question of justice and its relation to happiness, which is always regarded as the first, self-evident answer to the question of how to live. In the second Book, finally, I undertake a conceptual clarification of that question (through the distinction between the three types of goods) and I show how its answer unfolds through the further course of the dialogue (based on the Simile of the Letters). These multiple options for the preamble, in fact, give rise to multiple perspectives from which to view and interpret the whole dialogue – a multiplicity that can be recognised as intentional on the part of Plato.