The Institute of Philosophy of the Research Centre for the Humanities cordially invites everybody to the upcoming talk by Prof. Costica Bradatan entitled Becoming a Martyr Philosopher. The talk will be given in English.


There is a complex political and cultural process whereby a dead body becomes a “martyred body,” and an executed criminal becomes someone worthy of others’ admiration, even reverence. Dying is only half of the job—turning one’s death into an act of martyrdom is the other half, if not more than half. Right after Socrates’ execution, what his close associates were contemplating in that prison room was not Socrates, just a dead body. It took, among other things, Plato’s unique literary genius, the Athenians’ sense of guilt, and centuries of intellectual labor to turn that cold thing into Socrates as we know him today. What, therefore, is essential for martyrdom is the construction of a martyr’s posterity. The “conditions of possibility” behind the martyr-making process may be grouped under three broad categories: (a) The performance of the martyrdom. This is the actual happening that sets everything in motion: historical facts and events that have the potential of being framed into a story of martyrdom and stirring people’s consciousness. (b) The story-telling. Martyrdom is as much the deed of the one who performs it as it is the product of those who story the deed. (c) The audience. A martyr is always a martyr for someone. Both as an actual performance and as a story, an act of martyrdom requires a public. These categories should be seen as a dynamic continuum rather than entries in a bulleted list.

Time: Tuesday, 05 March 2024, 10AM (CET)

In person: Institute of Philosophy, 1097, Budapest, Tóth Kálmán Street 4. Floor 7, Room 16.
Online, via the Zoom platform. Attendees can join using the following link:

Facebook event via this link.