The VII Symposium Platonicum, on the Gorgias and the Meno, was held, as scheduled, in Würzburg, from 26 to 31 of July 2004, under the auspices of Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz and Universität Würzburg.
More than two hundred scholars participated from all continents and many listeners from the various Universities of Germany.
The opening C. J. de Vogel lecture was given by Terry Penner, in the Fürstensaal of the Residence.
The second lecture, on the next day, was given by Harold Tarrant, in memory of Matthias Baltes and in the presence of Mrs. Baltes as guest of the Symposium.
Selection of the papers to be read at the Symposium posed a problem to the Executive Committee, faced with a wealth of good proposals. The papers presented gave rise to lively discussions within and without the lecture halls.
The society was honoured by the presence and a ’’Grußwort’’ of the President of the Universität Würzburg, Prof. Haase, by the presence of its Vice-President, Prof. Sinn, who also gave a reception as Director of the Antikenabteilung of the Martin-von-Wagner-Museum, of the presence of the Bürgermeister of Würzburg, Dr. Bauer, and of the students’ dean of the Faculty of Philosophy I.
At the opening Ceremony a letter was read written by the President of the Akademie der Wissenschaften und Literatur Mainz and former President of the union of Deutsche Akademie, who could not be present because of health reasons. The Bürgermeister of Würzburg gave a reception in the Bürgersaal in the City Hall of Würzburg. The Society is grateful to all of them for their kindness and their support.
Special thanks are due to the Faculty of Humanities, to the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, to the Universitätsbund Würzburg, to the Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst and to the Universität Würzburg for their help and support.
I am especially grateful to Sabine Heler and Dr. Stefan Schorn who functioned as Secretaries of the Society for two resp. one years. Dr. Irmgard Männlein Robert and many of our students were of great help during the Symposium and afterwards. I am personally grateful and indebted to all of them.
General Assembly : The General Assembly was held, according to the Statutes of the Society, during the Symposium, on 28 August 2004 from 15-18 hours and was continued for 10 minutes on 29 August in the morning.
Status quo : When I took over office, I received three different list of members, one up to 500. We sent out more than 500 letters in to confirm the numbers or to reduce them to a solid basis. It took more than a year to start the list again on a confirmed basis. Now at the end I may say, that our society has 320 members with confirmed addresses. However, only about 250 of them are paid up members, the others are unpaid. May I remind those who have not paid for the last triennium to save their souls and get rid of the debt.
During the last triennium the members of the executive committee and the President to the best of their ability tried to promote Platonic studies in different parts of the world.
The president successfully applied for a panel on occasion of the World Congress for Philosophy in Istanbul in 2002 as reported in the newsletter. Six members of our society from five continents as required gave papers on the Topic ’Platonic knowledge : Is it an illusion ?’ I think, one may say, that the panel was a success. More than 130 persons attended. It was agreed by the General assembly that the Society should apply for membership of the FISP.
We had our mid term meeting held in Piacenza and very well organized by Maurizio Migliori – I have previously reported about that in a news letter. The papers in English and Italian are collected in two volumes, one of which has already been published (M. Migliori, L. Napolitano Valditara, D. Del Forno (edd.), Plato Ethicus. Philosophy is Life, St. Augustin 2004).
The president was invited to Mexico to participate in a panel on occasion of a conference in Guadalajara on Plato and to address a large audience at the final session of the Latin American book fare taking place in Guadalajara as well. The president also gave lectures on Plato – and Epicurus – in Tokyo (Japan) and Seoul (South Korea) earlier this year.
The IPS supported activities in different parts of the world. For instance the excom decides to sponsor a Plato conference in Lima with a small amount of money.
Finance : When I took over the carry over were 800 Euro ; De Vogel Stifting gave 6807 Euro ; we paid for the web site 1913 Euro, for sponsoring the Lima conference we paid 2000 Euro ; for the Piacenza meeting also 2000 Euro ; for the Istanbul meeting about 1800.
From other sources I acquired from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) 20,000 Euro, from the Bavarian government 3500 Euro, from the Würzburg Universitätsbund 3000. The University supported me by paying a second assistant – Frau Heler, now Dr. Schorn – by paying all communication (mail, Telephone etc).
The Assembly approved the interim Financial Report presented by the President There remains a carry over for the new President of about 7200 Euro. The Final Report has been audited by the Dean of the Faculty of Humanities I.
Internet journal : The Executive Committee expressed their thanks to Christopher Gill for having proposed, designed and initiated the Internet journal “Plato” and to Gretchen Reydams Schils for taking over his job recently and publishing the first volume under her guidance.
Plato Bibliography : Luc Brisson continues to publish the Plato Bibliography, with the help of his associates. The members of the IPS received a pre-publication version of the last Bibliographie for 2003-2004 by e-mail.
Thanks : The Executive Committee express their thanks to the Editorial Committee for their strenuous efforts to maintain the high level of scholarship that has come to characterize the International Plato Series, and to Dr. Hans Richarz and Academia Verlag for their continued support of the Society. The Committee are grateful to the de Vogel Stichting and to its representative, Prof. Abraham Bos, for their continued support and encouragement.
The General Assembly approved the Statutes prepared in accordance with the resolutions by the General assembly on 5.8. 1989 and subsequent meetings.
On the basis of these Statutes the FIEC accepted the membership of the IPS.
The General Assembly approved unanimously that Dr. Richarz of Akademia Verlag should be awarded the first Honorary Membership of our Society. The President informed Dr. Richarz and congratulated him. The President is delighted to inform you, that Dr. Richarz is happy to accept the Honorary membership of our society.
Election of new members of the Executive Committee : Alvaro Vallejo Campos ; François Renaud.
IX Symposium Platonicum : The Assembly decided that the venue of the IX Symposium will be the held in Tokyo in 2010. I congratulate Shinro Kato and Noburu Notomi and I am looking forward to an interesting meeting in Japan.
The VIII Symposium Platonicum, in Dublin, will be on Philebus, the IX Symposium Platonicum, in Tokyo, on Republic.
Submission of papers for publication : Instructions for the submission of papers for consideration for the volume of selected papers, to be published by Academia Verlag, under the editorship of Michael Erler and Luc Brisson, have been sent out already. Because of limitations of space, not all papers read at the Symposium can be included in the volume.