EllinikoTheatro is an international performing arts organization based in New York and Athens. Since its inception in 1979, it has sought to serve as an innovative carrier of cultural diplomacy, expanding the temporal, spatial and social boundaries of Hellenic Theatre.

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EllinikoTheatro presents its first Café-philo at Theatro 104

EllinikoTheatro and Athens-based phillosopher Marco G. Breuer invite you to discuss on Borges’ references to Greek philosophy in some of his most famous books.

The Café-philo is open to any and all interested in philosophy and literature. Join us at Theatro 104’s cafe/bar to take part. 

Free entrance. In English.


Discussion description:

In current philosophy, the work of Jorge Luis Borges (1899-1986) is especially relevant because it examines and develops an original way to deal with philosophical issues. Borges himself speaks of his ‘interest in exploring the literary possibilities of philosophical theories’, theories related to ontology, ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and logic. 

In this context, ancient Greek philosophy plays a major role, for Borges constantly draws on key Greek thinkers (from the Presocratics to the late Platonists in the Hellenistic period) for his literary aims. In my talk I will concentrate on three cases:
(1) Borges’ interest in skepticism, in particular in the skeptical hypotheses of Gorgias of Leontini, to develop his own skeptical point of view. 
(2) Borges’ constant reference to Heraclitus of Ephesus as a way to probe the possibilities of dialectics in metaphysics. (Borges’ stress on the limits of rational thinking does not hinders him to explore the potentiality of dialectic methods and of poetic language as an alternative approach to metaphysics.)
(3) Borges’ enduring interest in Gnosticism as a way of assessing the aesthetical significance of positions such as panpsychism and monism. With the purpose of illustrating these three fields, I will make reference to Borges’ “The Analytical Language of John Wilkings”, “New Year’s Eve,” and “The Circular Ruins”, among other texts.

Many scholars underline the originality and fecundity of Borges’ approach to philosophy in general and to the Greek philosophical tradition in particular. While his contemporaries are mostly concerned with existentialism and modern ethics, Borges leads the literary attention to a much broader set of philosophical schools and problems. 

MARCO G. BREUER

Marcos G. Breuer was born in Santa Fe (Argentina) and studied Philosophy at the University of Córdoba; afterwards he worked as a consultant in the public sector for two years. In 2001, he obtained a fellowship to do his doctorate in Philosophy at the University of Düsseldorf, Germany. After having completed his PhD, he moved to Rome in 2006. There he worked as a teacher and conducted post-doctoral research. Since 2009 he works as an independent philosopher based in Athens. Breuer has just finished a book reconstructing the ethical debate on the legalization of voluntary euthanasia and is currently working on a project exploring the multifarious relationship between philosophical and fictional discourse, concentrating on the work of authors such as J. L. Borges. He regularly organizes lectures and courses in philosophy and literature; his main areas of interest are the history of philosophy, ethics, and aesthetics. More information:www.marcosbreuer.com