Anthony J. Lisska (1940-2022)

I am sorry to report that Tony Lisska died yesterday. Readers of this blog will know Tony’s work on Aquinas, most prominently his 1996 book on Aquinas’s Theory of Natural Law and his 2016 book, Aquinas’s Theory of Perception, both published by Oxford.

For the community at Denison University (Ohio), Tony will be remembered for his five decades at the center of campus life there. Tamar Rudavsky forwarded these remarks from the president of Denison, Adam Weinberg, which offer a sense of the impact he had over his career:

“Emeritus Professor of Philosophy Tony J. Lisska passed away this morning. Tony was a pillar of the Denison and Granville communities and much beloved by all. He was a truly great Denisonian who embodied what it means to be a professor at a liberal arts college. Tony joined the faculty at Denison in 1969, launching an extraordinary 52-year career on The Hill. During his time at Denison, he served as dean of the college for five years, chaired the philosophy department three times, and founded and chaired the Honors Program for 15 years. He retired from Denison in 2021. In 2016, the Gilpatrick Center was rededicated as the Lisska Center for Scholarly Engagement (now the Lisska Center for Intellectual Engagement) to honor Tony’s enduring and exemplary service and dedication to the college. The Lisska Center’s mission is to promote intellectual dialogue and scholarly excellence on campus by supporting students, faculty, and alums. Tony earned a Bachelor of Arts from Providence College, a master’s from Saint Stephen’s College, a doctorate from The Ohio State University, and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.

Tony was a specialist in Thomism and analytic philosophy and the thinking of St. Thomas Aquinas. He published extensively and was a giant in the field of philosophy – his publications are detailed on his Denison bio page.

Tony will be missed by many, including me. The Denison flag will fly at half-staff for three days to celebrate his life and contributions. We will share additional information as it becomes available.


September’s News

Clelia Crialesi is organizing a series of four online workshops on premodern mathematical thought. Each is devoted to a century, from the 13th to the 16th. The first workshop is this Friday, September 16th, 2022. Details about the whole project can be found at

There’s a major conference on Peter Auriol in Rome at the end of the month, in honor of the seventh centenary of his death (September 29-30, 2022). Details here.

The fourth meeting of Divergent Scholasticism, on zoom, is coming on October 7, 2022. The focus of these workshops is the scholastic tradition between Europe and Americas, from 1500 to 1700. The talks for this meeting are in Spanish.

Jenny Pelletier (Gothenburg) and colleagues are organizing a conference for next June on Rewriting the History of Political Thought from the Margins (Berlin, June 8-9, 2023). The cfp deadline is October 17, 2022.

Solmsen Fellowships at the University of Wisconsin are again being advertised, for junior and senior scholars working on Europe pre-1700. The application deadline is October 27, 2022.

James Dominic Rooney tells me that his Hong Kong-based medieval philosophy reading group is continuing this year, and plans to focus on Aquinas and Anselm. It’s on Zoom. If you’re interested in joining, contact Father Rooney directly.

Lenn Goodman (Vanderbilt) is working on a new translation/commentary of the Guide to the Perplexed. You can listen to him talk about Maimonides’ Guide on the Judaism Demystified podcast. The video is here. Audio versions are available through Spotify, Apple, etc.

Claus Andersen (South Bohemia) has compiled a list of the 19 volumes of Henry of Ghent’s Opera omnia (Leuven) that are available online at the Internet Archive.

Congratulations to Juan Carlos Flores (Detroit Mercy), who has won a major NEH grant for work on the critical edition of Henry’s Summa art. 73-75.

Another major NEH grant has gone to Todd Buras (Baylor), who will be running a summer institute for primary and secondary-school educators “exploring the disputatio, or disputed questions, as a tool for discussing the nature of wisdom.”

The Journal of the History of Philosophy seeks a new book review editor, to replace Jean-Luc Solère (Boston College). There is an announcement here.

The July issue of IPM Monthly features an interesting video interview with Tianyue Wu (Peking University).