Can We Just Hand Our Work over to AI?

There’s been so much news about developments in AI that I thought I’d pose a query to our field: Is AI in a position to contribute anything to the study of medieval philosophy?

I’m not interested in hand-wringing about how our students might use AI to cheat. That strikes me as their problem, not mine. I’m interested in how we might use AI for our own benefit, in our research.

  • Has anyone experimented with ChatGPT?
  • Has anyone set up a program that would translate scholastic Latin into English? This seems like it should be relatively easy to do, but so far as I know it hasn’t yet been done.
  • What else might modern technology be doing for us?

Send in your replies, and maybe we can all take an extra week’s vacation this summer.


A New Year in Medieval Philosophy

As part of her ERC grant on 12th-century logic, Caterina Tarlazzi (Venice) seeks to hire an expert in digital humanities—in particular, an expert in digital scholarly editions. A master’s degree, not a doctorate, is required. Details here. The application deadline is February 8, 2023.

The University of Jyväskylä is advertising two postdocs for Martina Reuter’s project on Gender in Renaissance and Early Modern Philosophy. I would think the clever medievalist might make a strong case for inclusion in the scope of this program. Application deadline is January 31, 2023. Application details here.

There’s a new journal starting up in the history of philosophy, Journal of the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists. It’s published by Brill, and edited by Ruth Hagengruber (Paderborn) and Mary Ellen Waithe (Cleveland State).

The SIEPM has announced the deadlines for its usual slate of prizes and funding opportunities: a junior scholar award (deadline of June 1, 2023); a stipend for junior scholars to study with senior scholars (deadline of May 1, 2023); a subvention for the publication of a monograph. Information can be found here.

Looking up the previous alerted me to an honor that I had been previously unaware, and so had failed to report: the SIEPM’s lifetime achievement award, which is given out only every five years (during the World Congress) was awarded this past August to Sten Ebbesen (Copenhagen). Congratulations Sten!

Next month, Dragos Calma (Dublin) and Tobias Hoffmann (Sorbonne) are sponsoring an in-person conference in Vienna on Primary and Secondary Causality: Medieval Theories at the Crossroads between Aristotelianism and Neoplatonism (February 16-17, 2023).

In March there’s an international two-day online conference on the subject What Can the Will Do? It’s being organized by Monika Michałowska (Łódź) and Jenny Pelletier (Gothenburg). It will be entirely on zoom (March 23-24, 2023).

The AAIWG — that’s the Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ International Working Group, for those not in the know — is planning a conference in late spring in Istanbul, at Marmara University. The cfp deadline is just a couple of days away (January 21, 2023), so act quickly if you’d like to be involved. The dates are May 29–June 1, 2023. More details here.

The Universidad de los Andes is hosting a Congreso Tomista Internacional in June. (There does not seem to be, as yet, information on the web, but inquiries can be sent to Santiago, June 28-30, 2023. The cfp deadline is March 31, 2023.

The Journal of the History of Philosophy is advertising its annual summer seminar, and this year’s topic is The Ancient Origins of Renaissance and Early Modern Feminism. It will be directed by Marguerite Deslauriers (McGill). The seminar is open to advanced graduate students and recent PhDs, and comes with generous funding. (Montreal, May 15-19, 2023. The application deadline is February 15.)

Thomas Aquinas College (Santa Paula, California) is again hosting a Thomistic Summer Conference. This year’s topic is The Soul in the Philosophy and Theology of St. Thomas (June 15-18, 2023). The cfp deadline is January 31, 2023.

The Lumen Christi Institute is again hosting an interesting roster of summer seminars, aimed at current PhD students, and extending to topics such as Augustine’s City of God and Gregory Nazianzen. Generous funding is available. Details here. Application deadlines are in February.

Romuald Green, OFM (1929-2022)

I have just learned from Timothy Noone that Romuald Green has died in Washington DC, at the age of 93.

Father Green is perhaps best known for his 1963 dissertation at Leuven, An introduction to the logical treatise De obligationibus: with critical texts of William of Sherwood and Walter Burley.

In more recent years, he contributed to the Franciscan Institute’s edition of William Ockham (OPh V and OTh VII, to be exact), and to all five volumes of the Opera philosophica of Scotus.

His funeral Mass will take place on December 19th at the Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington.

Online Calculators

Irene Binini (Parma) and Sylvain Roudaut (Stockholm) are running a monthly online seminar on the Oxford Calculators, and the second meeting is this Tuesday, December 6th, at 13.00–15.15 CET. The topic, organized by Monika Michałowska (Łódź), is The Intersections of Time and Ethics/Theology in Richard FitzRalph, Adam Wodeham, Richard Kilvington, and John Ripa.The web page has information on how to register.

There’s a senior position in medieval being advertised at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. The application deadline is December 20th, 2022. Proficiency in Spanish is required.

There’s a conference scheduled for February, in Rome, on Modeling, Idealization and Truth: A Dialogue between Contemporary Philosophy of Science and the Aristotelian Tradition (Angelicum, Feb. 24-25, 2023). There’s still an open call for papers for junior scholars, with a deadline of January 1.

As part of the annual medieval and renaissance conference at St. Louis University (June 12-14, 2023), Susan Brower-Toland (Saint Louis) and Jenny Pelletier (Gothenburg) are organizing a mini-conference on medieval philosophy. Details are at the Pariscope médiéval. The cfp deadline is Jan. 30th, 2023.

The SISPM is holding its 26th meeting in Rome on the subject Le filosofie del XII secolo: Nuovi approcci, diverse prospettive (Sept. 20-22, 2023). The call for papers deadline is January 15, 2023.

Congratulations to Graziana Ciola (Nijmegen) for winning an ERC Starting Grant worth €1.5M, for her project The Impossible and the Imaginable: Late-Medieval Semantics of Impossibility and the Roots of Complex Mathematics. There’s more information about the project at Daily Nous.

Congrulations to Alexander Fidora (Barcelona), who has been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award.

Postdoc in Siegen

I just discovered, in my spam filter, information about a postdoc at the University of Siegen (Germany). It is a thee-year position, to work on the DFG-project, “Nikolaus von Kues als Leser Platons und Aristoteles’: Kritische Edition und Studie der Cusanus-Marginalien”. More information at this link. Good paleographic skills are required. The deadline is tomorrow (Nov. 22, 2022), which is the reason for this special post.

Various Reports from the Field (November 2022)

Catholic University of America is advertising three (!) positions, all open-rank (!), particularly aimed at scholars working in ancient philosophy, Neoplatonism, and medieval philosophy. (Well, and also political philosophy.) Review of files begins December 13, 2022.

There’s a two-year postdoc at the University of Strasbourg being advertised, as part of a project on the Circulation of Medieval Knowledge in the 12th Century. The application deadline is December 15, 2022.

The University of Georgia is advertising an endowed professorship, at the senior level, in Jewish Studies. Although the position will be rostered in the Department of Religion, it is described as an “open-specialty search.” Application deadline is December 15, 2022.

The New Narratives Project is advertising 12-month postdocs for scholars who “will conduct research related to the retrieval and recognition of philosophical works by women and individuals from other marginalized groups in both the European and non-European traditions. The project is focused on the historical period from roughly the 9th century through to the early 20th century.” Review of applications begins January 3, 2023.

The Medieval Institute at Notre Dame is again advertising one-year junior faculty fellowships, “designed for junior faculty who currently hold a position in a North American university as an assistant professor.” The application deadline is February 1, 2023.

Emily Corran (UCL/IEA-Paris) and Christophe Grellard (EPHE) have organized an interdisciplinary seminar on Conscience and the Sources of Moral Authority, which will be meeting at the Sorbonne, and online, throughout this academic year. The first meeting is tomorrow (Friday, Nov. 18th, 2022). Details are available here.

Happening today and tomorrow, but still worth mentioning, is an international conference on Jean de Jandun et son temps: Nouvelles perspectives de recherche (Paris, Nov. 17-18, 2022).

Also in Paris, a Journée d’études at the intersection of philosophy and history of science has been announced on the subject, Errare (et perseverare): Erreurs et corrections à la fin du Moyen Âge (December 8, 2022).

Yet another upcoming event in Paris (it must be exhausting) is a two-day conference on La nature au Moyen Âge (Dec. 1-2, 2022).

The British Society for the History of Philosophy is advertising its annual Graduate Essay Prize. The application deadline is November 30, 2022.

The Aquinas and the Arabs International Working Group is holding a conference Istanbul next spring (May 29 – June 1, 2023). The deadline to express interest in attending was yesterday (November 16). If you wish you had known about this earlier, or are hoping that it’s not to late to be involved, contact Brett Yardley, who will at least sign you up for future emails.

The annual Marquette Summer Seminar on Aristotle and the Aristotelian Traditions (June 19-21, 2023) has now being announced, on the theme Logos, Logic and Metaphysics. The meeting will be in person, in Milwaukee. Abstracts should be submitted by February 15, 2023.

Finally, from Stephen Presser (Northwestern) ….

News in the Field from October

King’s College London is advertising another lectureship (effectively, a permanent junior faculty position), “in Late Medieval / Early Modern Philosophy in any of the Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions, especially in the History of Ethics and the Philosophy of Action.” The application deadline is November 15, 2022.

Next week, there’s a conference in Parma on Logic and Modalities in the Late Middle Ages. It will be held in person but also accessible on zoom (Oct. 17-19, 2022).

This year’s Journée thomiste will be on the subject Obéissance et autorité au Moyen Âge (Paris, December 3, 2022).

An international conference on the History of Logic in the Islamic World is planned for this March in Tehran, featuring a distinguished list of keynote speakers. The conference will be run in a hybrid format, partly in person and partly virtual (March 6-8, 2023). The cfp deadline has been extended until Oct. 31, 2022.

LMU Munich is organizing a conference for this coming May on Animals in Greek, Arabic, and Latin Philosophy (May 18-20, 2023). The cfp deadline is Oct. 31, 2022.

The Avicenna Study Group continues next fall: its fourth meeting will concern Avicenna’s “minor works” (Aix-en-Provence, Sept. 13-15, 2023).

The annual SIEPM colloquium for next year will be in Trento (Italy), on the subject Medieval Debates on Foreknowledge: Future Contingents, Prophecy, and Divination (Sept. 13-15, 2023; cfp deadline Jan. 31, 2023).

Alfred Freddoso continues to make progress on his complete online English translation of the Summa theologiae. He’s now approaching the end of the 2a2ae. This is by far the best complete translation available, and for anyone who’s still learning to read scholastic Latin, you really couldn’t do better than to work through this translation side by side with Aquinas’s Latin, available at the Corpus Thomisticum. Fred tells me that, if you are using this translation and find mistakes in it, he’d love to know about them.

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).

End of Summer News

Next month, the Eleventh International Thomistic Congress will begin in Rome. For those who can’t make it there in person, the plenary talks will be live-streamed (September 19-24, 2022).

Next spring, also in Rome, a conference will be devoted to The Concept of ‘Ius’ in Thomas Aquinas (April 21-22, 2023; cfp deadline is December 15, 2022).

Another travel opportunity for Thomists is in Nigeria, next January: a conference on Thomas Aquinas: Medieval Thinker in the 21st Century Global Village (Ibadan, January 25-26, 2023; cfp deadline is October 31, 2022).

Oleg Bychkov (St. Bonaventure Univ.) has asked me to let readers know that the journal he edits—the long-standing, widely indexed peer-reviewed journal Cithara—is looking for articles for its fall issue. They publish essays in the “Judaeo-Christian tradition,” and so would be a good venue for many topics in our field.

Tobias Hoffmann (Paris) has been industriously cataloging. He’s updated his longstanding Scotus bibliography, which has changed its web address and is now here. He’s also pulled together–with the help of some students–an 82-page booklet containing information about books in medieval philosophy published over the last several years. That’s here.

With that list of new books in hand, you might like to know that Brill is advertising a 50% sale on (almost) all its books until the end of September. Offer here.

If you’ve got no money for buying books, you might like to know that Claus Andersen (South Bohemia) has gone to the trouble of hunting down all of the volumes of the Vatican edition of Scotus that are available at the Internet Archive, and provided a master-page linking to them all. (He’s found all but six of them.) The Internet Archive doesn’t let you download the documents as a pdf, but this is still quite a useful resource. (Thanks to Lee Faber at The Smithy for the pointer.)

In a post last month, I mentioned some good news regarding junior hires, and that brought me further good news: Brett Yardley has been appointed as an assistant professor at DeSales University (Pennsylvania), and Nathaniel Taylor has accepted a tenure-track position at The Catholic University of America.

In a recent post, Peter Adamson (Munich) talks to the APA about the academic scene in Europe.

The XVth International Congress of the SIEPM is finally about to begin—next week in Paris. As of yet the schedule of talks does not seem to be available, but it will presumably be posted here at some point. (I myself am sorry to be missing the big event. I’ll be home in Colorado, teaching our first week of classes.)