No exploration into wisdom and self-knowledge would be complete without reference to Plato, whose dialogues were written in the 4th Century BC and are still available intact. Plato covered a vast range of subjects, and everything he wrote has a remarkable relevance to our modern world. No matter the subject we will find in the Platonic dialogues remarkable insight and wisdom to guide and develop our thinking.

The School worldwide has spent many years exploring the works of Plato, and a a new translation of the Complete Works of Plato by Dr David Horan, the leader of the School in Ireland, is now available on-line.

Following the vein of Plato, the School also studies the works of Plotinus, and more broadly, other works emerging from the Renaissance period; in particular the works of the Florentine philosopher, Marsilio Ficino, whose letters have been translated into English by members of the School. The words of both Plotinus and Ficino could be said to be a re-statement of the words of Plato, but in a later age. These philosophers, and many others in the same vein, could be said to be ‘neo-Platonists’.


Whether reading an entire dialogue or just a short extract we find that Plato has the power to develop and refine the use of the mind. It is for this reason that the School offers many opportunities to study Plato – not only in the regular philosophy courses, but also in special study sessions, study days, study weeks and short courses.

Plato Study Weeks in Greece, Ireland, Italy, locally at St Kilda beach and more recently, on-line, are always a special treat, offering students the chance to study Plato’s philosophy in good company. These include the opportunity for physical exercise, guided study, healthy and delicious vegetarian meals and nourishing entertainment.

More recently we began offering regular six week on-line study courses (one hour per week) which provides a convenient way to explore a topic – all from the comfort of home. At all these events particular emphasis is laid on the relevance of the works to our modern world.

Notification of events is posted in the Events page of this website as they become available.


From our work on Plato has emerged an exploration and practice of the what could be referred to as Dialectic, or the Socratic Method.

If we are to follow the example of Socrates, it would make sense to learn from his approach to philosophical discourse. He famously spent his days in the Agora holding discussions with the young men of Athens. Typical of a Socratic conversation was his inclination to always ask questions, never presuming that he knew the answer. This approach infuriated many of those with whom he spoke. But Socrates said that his great fear was that he should ‘think that I know, when I do not know’, to spend his life believing something to be true that was, in fact, not true.

There is a great deal to Socrates approach. He was declared by the Oracle of Delphi to be the wisest man in the world, and yet he himself declared that he knew nothing. Perhaps true wisdom is always to presume that there is more to learn, to discover, to know.

There is much work to be done in this field, and perhaps we can never say that we’ve finally arrived. The School conducts all of its courses and study programs ‘after the manner of Socrates’, but acknowledges that this is a work in progress.

Perhaps it will always be a journey. And as for any journey, we must make a start.

Download Booklet


To assist with this, we have a booklet entitled ‘Dialectic – A Practical Guide for Philosophers’. The booklet is available for download at no charge. Also see the Complete Works of Plato – ‘The Dialogues of Plato‘, A New Translation by David Horan.

Download Booklet