Seders, symposiums, and drinking parties

The symposium is a familiar feature of academic life today: a scholarly gathering where work on a given topic or theme is presented and discussed. While the event may be followed by a dinner and
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The symposium is a familiar feature of academic life today: a scholarly gathering where work on a given topic or theme is presented and discussed. While the event may be followed by a dinner and drinks, the consumption of alcohol is in no way essential to the business of the gathering. A round of drinks may be something for participants to look forward to after the hard intellectual work is over, but to arrive at the session inebriated (or to imbibe over the course of the event) would mark a person as unfit or incapacitated for the central activity of the symposium, which requires a clear head and focused attention. At a properly staffed symposium, an obviously inebriated participant might well be escorted discretely to the door or otherwise excluded from the proceedings. Not so in the original symposium, which was a familiar cultural institution in many city states in Classical Greece, with a long afterlife in the Hellenistic period. This all-male affair was an after-dinner drinking. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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