News of the Week

The Maimonides Centre for Advanced Studies (Hamburg) is advertising junior and senior fellowships for 2021-2022. The topic for next year is language and scepticism. The application deadline is December 10, 2020. Details here.

SUNY Stony Brook has started an MA in the History of Philosophies, East and West. This is a joint MA between Philosophy and Asian Studies, across the whole history of philosophy. Thanks to Rosabel Ansari for the pointer.

A year-long series of seven lectures on the theme The Christian West And Islamic East is starting up this next Tuesday, October 20, 2020, featuring Billy Dunaway on “The Epistemology of Theological Predication.” The series is sponsored by Dunaway and Jon McGinnis’ Templeton project, and by Richard Taylor’s Aquinas and “The Arabs” group. Lecture time is 9am in St. Louis.

Three days of talks on Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages begins next week. The fun starts Wednesday, October 21, 2020, at 1:45pm in St. Andrews. Organized by Stephen Read.

There’s an interview of Scott Williams (UNC Asheville) on the podcast The Reluctant Theologian, concerning Scott’s new edited volume, Disability in Medieval Christian Philosophy and Theology (Routledge, 2020).

A Week of Virtual Bob

I don’t know about how things are in your corners of the world, but around here morale is pretty low and, as the semester grinds on, it seems to be getting lower.

Since I’m on sabbatical this year, I’ve been happily saved at least from the burden of online teaching, but alas that just gives me more time to tune into other kinds of unhappiness around the globe. So I’ve come up with a plan both to distract myself from the news for a week and, at the same time, to contribute a little bit during the COVID era.  I’d like to offer my services as a virtual professor.

So as to put reasonable limits on this offer, it’s confined only to the week of October 26-30, but within those five days the offer is pretty much unlimited. I am prepared to meet with any group of any size at any level, anywhere on the planet: undergraduate, graduate, faculty, high-school students, 11-year-olds — anyone who is interested in the sorts of issues I am interested in. I am, moreover, interested in lots of things — pretty much any area of philosophy and any period in the history of Western philosophy, plus long stretches of the history of science, Christian theology, medieval history, and medieval literature. My idea is that I would try to teach whatever you’re supposed to teach on a given day. Try me!

If you want to book my time during this week, email me as soon as possible and describe what you have in mind. First come, first serve. And don’t hesitate to get in touch, even if we’ve never met, no matter how modest your circumstances. For that week, I’m ready to go anywhere, virtually.

The Medieval Text Consortium

For a long time I’ve wanted to organize a better way to publish texts in the history of philosophy. A group of us have now come together to do just this. Here is the announcement:

The Medieval Text Consortium is an association of leading scholars formed to make works of medieval philosophy available to a wide audience. Our goal is to publish texts across all of Western thought between antiquity and modernity, both in their original languages and in English translation.

In collaboration with Open Book Publishers, we provide a rigorously peer-reviewed platform for the dissemination, in printed and electronic form, of the finest scholarly work in the field. Publications will be open-access in their electronic form and available in print at an affordable price.

For the time being, our focus is Latin texts. We are open to publishing works of various kinds, from critical editions to editiones minores intended to provide scholars with a provisional working text. We will not ordinarily consider publishing bare transcriptions of a text, but we are open to various possibilities regarding how much editorial work is appropriate in a given case.

We are likewise open to translation proposals of all kinds, including translations of a whole text, partial and abridged translations of a text, and collections of shorter texts on a single subject. The open-access electronic format, combined with affordable print prices, makes us an ideal place to publish material with classroom applications, but at the same time we are not constrained by commercial considerations.

Authors may choose to publish an edition alone, a translation alone, or the two together side by side, along with whatever level of accompanying commentary seems appropriate. We are open to a wide range of formatting possibilities, and the flexibility of the electronic format makes it possible to present the text in multiple different and innovative ways.

Among our goals is to facilitate publication in cases where a definitive critical edition, or a complete translation, is at present impractical. We hope that scholars, who might otherwise have watched a project languish for years, will be encouraged by this initiative to bring to press work that is of substantial scholarly value without having yet been brought to a definitive state of critical perfection. In keeping with that objective, authors who wish to make subsequent improvements to their work may do so either through the MTC or with another press.

Projects will be accepted for publication only after rigorous review by the editorial board. No subvention from authors is required, although contributions to the cost of publication are welcomed and will help sustain the project. Authors interested in exploring a relationship with us should begin by contacting the editor with an informal proposal.


Editorial Board

Robert Pasnau (University of Colorado)

Monica Brinzei (CNRS Paris)

Russell Friedman (KU Leuven)

Guy Guldentops (University of Cologne)

Peter King (University of Toronto)

John Marenbon (University of Cambridge)

Christopher Martin (University of Auckland)

Giorgio Pini (Fordham University)

Cecilia Trifogli (University of Oxford)

Rega Wood (Indiana University)

Congratulations etc.

  • Congratulations to Ota Pavlíček (Institute of Philosophy in Prague), who won an ERC Starting Grant worth $1.5 million for the project, Reconstructing Late Medieval Quests for Knowledge: Quodlibetal Debates as Precursors of Modern Academic Practice.
  • Congratulations to Jon McGinnis (Univ. Missouri-St. Louis), whose paper “A Continuation of Atomism: Shahrastānī on the Atom and Continuity,” from the Journal of the History of Philosophy, was named one of the top ten papers of 2019 in the prestigious Philosopher’s Annual. I believe this is the first time a paper in medieval philosophy has made this list!
  • Congratulations—and thanks!—to Peter Simpson (CUNY) who has recently completed his massive online translation of Scotus’s Ordinatio. (And thanks to Lee Faber at The Smithy for the pointer.)
  • LMU Munich is advertising a three-year assistant position in late ancient and/or Islamic philosophy, working with Peter Adamson. The application deadline is October 1, 2020. Details here.
  • A call for papers has been announced for a special issue of Methodos focused on Argumentation and Arabic Philosophy of Language. Submission deadline is January 20, 2021.
  • The Royal Society of London is advertising an Essay Award for junior scholars working in the history of science. Submission deadline is February 28, 2021.

End of Summer News

Lots of useful information has been piling up in my inbox. Many of the deadlines are soon!

  • The 42nd Kölner Mediaevistentagung, on the topic ‘Curiositas,’ is online this year, and so accessible to everyone (September 7-10, 2020). It’s a wonderfully international program, with lots of talks in English. Registration and general information here.
  • Leuven is hosting, virtually, a conference on “Essence and Existence in the 13th and 14th Centuries.” (September 11-13, 2020).
  • The University of Jyväskylä is advertising a three-year postdoc to work on the project “Vicious, Antisocial and Sinful: The Social and Political Dimension of Moral Vices from Medieval to Early Modern Philosophy.” Application deadline is September 15, 2020. Details here.
  • Filipe Silva (University of Helsinki) is advertising a 46-month postdoc to research Augustinian Natural Philosophy ca. 1277. Application deadline September 15, 2020. Details here.
  • NYU Abu Dhabi is advertising research fellowships for junior and senior scholars focusing on “the study of the Arab world.” Application deadline is October 1, 2020. Details here.
  • Christina Thomsen Thörnqvist (Gothenburg) is advertising a multi-year postdoc as part the project on Medieval Aristotelian Logic 1240-1360. Application deadline is September 24, 2020. Details here.
  • The Schindler Foundation is advertising a 3-6 month grant for junior scholars focusing on “Medieval Latin Studies,” in honor of Claudio Leonardi. Application deadline is September 15, 2020. Details here.
  • UCLA is advertising the Wellman Chair in medieval European history. Review of applications begins November 1, 2020.
  • Western University (Ontario) is organizing a weekly online Latin study group, aimed at students who are just beginning their Latin studies, and who wish to concentrate on philosophical texts. Application deadline is September 5, 2020.
  • The New Narratives Project is organizing a work-in-progress seminar for early-career scholars. Officially the deadline passed yesterday to submit a proposal, but it might not be too late to get involved!
  • The SMRP has issued a call for papers, on any medieval topic, from scholars of any rank, for the APA Central meeting in February 2021 (which will be online). Deadline is September 15, 2020. Details here.
  • Reginald Lynch is organizing a session at Kalamazoo (May 13-15, 2021) on “Scholasticism and the Sacraments.” Cfp deadline is September 15. Details here.
  • The Paris Institute for Advanced Studies is accepting applicants for visiting fellowships during 2021-22. Having spent a year there myself, I can report that they are enthusiastic about the history of philosophy. The deadline is September 15, 2020.
  • The Aquinas Institute has begun an online masters program in theology. Details here.
  • Congratulations to Michiel Streijger, who has won a three-year German Research Foundation grant: “Digitale Edition von Walter Burleys zwei frühen Kommentaren zur Physik des Aristoteles.”
  • Congratulations to Gordon Wilson and to Rega Wood for each receiving a National Endowment for the Humanities grant for their editions of Henry of Ghent and Richard Rufus.
  • Congratulations to Gaston LeNotre (Dominican University College), who won the annual SMRP Founder’s Award for the best paper by a younger scholar. Honorable mention went to Milo Crimi (UCLA).

News of the Week

  • I previously announced the major grant on Human Abilities that Dominik Perler and Barbara Vetter won in Berlin this past year. Currently posted, as part of that project, is a PhD position in the history of philosophy scheduled to begin this October. Details here. The application deadline is August 8, 2020.
  • The SMRP is sponsoring a session on Giordano Bruno at the Renaissance Society of America meeting in Dublin (April 7-10, 2021, deo volente). The cfp deadline is this coming Monday (July 27, 2020). Details here.
  • As it happens, you can learn more about Giordano Bruno this coming Tuesday (July 28, 2020) at the next installment of the Lumen Christi series of online lectures. Valentina Zaffino will be speaking on Giordano Bruno and the Poetry of the Cosmos.
  • This Friday begins the weekly series of online lectures on 13th-Century English Franciscans that Lydia Schumacher has organized. Speaking this week are Nicola Polloni, Simon Kopf, and Neil Lewis. Details here.

This Week’s News

  • The Università della Svizzera Italiana (Lugano) is offering a new MA program, in English, focusing on a mix of analytic philosophy and the history of philosophy. Some quite distinguished scholars are involved, including, in our field, John Marenbon and Pasquale Porro. They expect to hold lectures on campus this fall. For application instructions go here. Some scholarship support is available and although some deadlines have passed, I am told interested students may be able to get an extension to that deadline.
  • I’ve recently discovered the website of the Red Latinoamericana de Filosofía Medieval, which contains a great deal of useful information about their activities, members, et cetera.
  • The University of South Bohemia, in beautiful České Budějovice, hopes to host a conference on February 11-13, 2021, on Cognitive Issues in the Long Scotist Tradition. The Cfp deadline is the end of July 2020. Let’s all hope the Scotists will be drinking their fill of Budweiser in February.
  • Peter Adamson’s latest column in Philosophy Now argues for the value of studying minor figures in the history of philosophy.

Virtual Colloquium 14: Graduate-Student Take Over

This Thursday will be the last virtual medieval colloquium of the summer. It seems fitting to turn things over to the virtual dissertation workshop group, which has been meeting in parallel for the last several months. So I have invited a couple of members of that group to make their presentation to the larger colloquium. Our speakers will be:

  • Dominic Dold (TU Berlin / Max Planck Institute), “Albert the Great on the Subject of Zoology.” The slides for this presentation are here.
  • Philip-Neri Reese (Notre Dame), “Aquinas on the Genus of Intellectual Virtue.” The handout for this presentation is here.

When: Thursday, July 2, 2020, 18:00 in Berlin, 12 noon in the eastern United States.

A recording is available here.

Sponsored by the Paris Institute of Advanced Studies.

Edward Grant (1926-2020)

Edward Grant, the distinguished historian of science and longtime professor at Indiana University, died earlier this week. Information about Professor Grant’s career, and a guide to the large archive of his papers at Indiana University, is available here. (Thanks to Rega Wood for announcing this information at today’s virtual colloquium.)

This Week’s News