Starting with Tragedy: Why the Basic Program Begins with Ancient Greek Drama and Philosophy
Explore the historical context that explains the significance of the two ancient Greek genres that kick off the Basic Program: tragic drama and philosophy.
About the Event
Presented by Basic Program instructors and open to all, these lectures also complement the texts and ideas from our curriculum and always include a Q&A session.
This First Friday Lecture is supported by the Anastaplo Lecture Series Fund in memory of Basic Program Instructor George Anastaplo.
In the Basic Program classroom, students pay close attention to the text, and not so much to the historical context. The First Friday Lectures were designed originally to provide this context. In the December lecture, Kendall Sharp will outline the historical context that explains the significance of the two ancient Greek genres that kick off the Basic Program: tragic drama and philosophy. These genres are valued by liberal education because of their original audiences. These audiences were the original free and equal citizens, who ruled themselves and ran their government by discussion and consensus rather than obedience to one man. Tragedy and philosophy reflect this historical context. Indeed, politics accounts for their origins. Tragedy and philosophy address questions and viewpoints of interest only to persons who have charge of their own lives, and make their own decisions.