The Seeds of Virtue in Ancient Greece and China – Summer School

Location: European Cultural Centre of Delphi, Delphi, Greece

Organizing Institution: University of Crete

Dates: July 12-17, 2023.


Ancient Greek and Chinese ethics were centrally concerned with questions about how to live one’s life, what is a life worth living, how to become good and flourish, how to deal with one’s emotions, how one should relate to friends and family, and what is a fair and just social, political, and legal order. In answering these questions, both ancient Greek and Chinese philosophers invoked virtues, that is, character traits people aspire to have and praise in others due to their nobility. In this workshop, we propose to examine and compare the virtue ethical approaches developed in these two philosophical traditions. Our goal is to explore the extent to which these authors posed similar questions, what concerns and motivations led them to focus on virtue acquisition and development, how they thought agents can learn and lead others to become virtuous, what is the role of intellect and emotion in the development of virtue, whether different groups of people should exhibit different virtues, and what is the relationship between personal virtue and a just political and legislative regime. This comparative exercise will allow us to fully appreciate the contributions made by these philosophical traditions to the question of how to live well and be good. At the same time, it will allow us to identify, and reflect upon, the affinities and points of divergence in their answers.

Organizing Committee: 

Chloe Balla (University of Crete)

Patricia Marechal (University of California, San Diego)

Matthew Walker (Yale-NUS College)

Claudia Yau (University of Houston)

Confirmed Speakers: Marta Jimenez (Complutense University, Emory University), Richard King (University of Bern), David Konstan (NYU), Patricia Marechal (University of California, San Diego), Hagop Sarkissian (CUNY), Bryan Van Norden (Vassar College), Matthew Walker (Yale-NUS College), Claudia Yau (University of Houston), James Zainaldin (University of Oklahoma)

Eligibility: Current MA or Ph.D. students and early career scholars. We welcome applicants from a wide range of backgrounds and institutions.

Accommodations: Participants will be offered housing in double or triple rooms, breakfasts, lunches, and coffee breaks. There is no tuition.

Application Instructions: Please email the following materials to : (i) a 1-2 page application letter detailing the applicant’s interest in the summer school and any relevant background; and (ii) a CV. 

Language requirement: Candidates who are not native speakers or students with education from the US, Canada, Australia, New-Zealand, United Kingdom or Ireland will have to present a certificate of competency in English (C3 or equivalent). For Chinese students who have succeeded in the National Graduate Entrance Examination, no further certification is required. Candidates who cannot present such a certificate have the option of an oral examination/English Proficiency interview arranged by the organizing committee. 

Application Deadline: April 3, 2023

Summer School website

* The action is part of the project “Promotion of the study of ancient Greek and Chinese culture” which is implemented in the framework of the Operational Programme “Human Resources Development, Education and Lifelong Learning”, co-financed by Greece and European Union (European Social Fund – ESF).

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