The Philosophy Department at the University of St. Thomas (Houston) seems to be at some risk of “reorganization and/or elimination.” See details at the Daily Nous. Would the school really have the nerve to eliminate the Philosophy Department and continue calling itself the University of Saint Thomas? Perhaps it might better, at that point, sell off the naming rights to the school to some more suitable benefactor.
Update as of May 19, 2017: The latest word is that the Department’s PhD program will be eliminated. This, which is of course bad enough in its own right, will have the further consequence of “allow[ing] the administration to change the terms of our contracts and increase course loads and remove tenure.” This from John Hittinger, department chair. See the detailed update at the Daily Nous.
This will probably be my last post until August. First, some information about upcoming events:
- The Collège de France is holding a two-day international colloquium, Philosopher au XIIe siècle, at the end of May (Paris, May 29-30, 2017).
- There’s a conference on Knowledge as Assimilation, ranging over ancient and medieval material, co-sponsored by the Rationality in Perception group in Helsinki and the Representation and Reality group in Gothenberg (Helsinki, June 9-11, 2017).
- The University of Bonn is holding a conference this summer, on “Time and Modality. Medieval and Contemporary Perspectives” (July 20-22, 2017). Immediately before the conference (July 17-19), they’re running a summer school in conjunction with themes from the conference. The application deadline for the summer school is May 31. Details on the summer school here.
- The Thomas-Institut has sent out its call for papers for the 2018 Cologne Mediaevistentagung. The topic is The Library: Spaces of Thought and Knowledge Systems. The submission deadline is August 15, 2017. See details here.
Next, some information about people:
- Nate Bulthius, a recent Cornell PhD, is interviewed at the APA blog, where he discusses in some detail his perspective on studying medieval philosophy.
- Thomas Ward, currently at Loyola Marymount, is moving to Baylor University, starting this coming fall. With John Haldane already there, as well as Francis Beckwith, and with Tim O’Connor joining the department as well, this makes Baylor quite a prominent option for graduate study in medieval philosophy.
And then some links, both, as it happens, pertaining to Scotus:
- Tobias Hoffmann’s very useful Scotus bibliography is now available here, where it continues to be updated.
- Thomas Williams has just come out with an extensive collection of English translations of Scotus’s ethical work (OUP 2017). In addition to the book, there is a website, here. On the website, there are additional translations, links to some of Thomas’s papers, and a remarkable unpublished essay that makes the case for why the Vatican edition of Ordinatio III.26-40 is “so frequently bad that no responsible scholar can rely on it.”
- There’s a three-year postdoc position at the above-mentioned Helsinki project, Rationality in Perception: Transformations of Mind and Cognition 1250-1550. The application deadline is May 29, 2017. Details here.
- There’s a two-year postdoc advertised in Munich, connected to the project Natur in politischen Ordnungsentwürfen: Antike, Mittelalter, Neuzeit. Quoting from the ad, “The central concern of the project is the medieval reaction to the ancient idea that God’s rulership to the universe is comparable to that between a political ruler and the state that s/he governs.” The application deadline is June 1, 2017. Details here.
I am very sorry to report that Marilyn Adams died this morning. See this announcement at Daily Nous. For a sense of what Marilyn was like, and how much she will be missed, see Christina Van Dyke’s Facebook post.
Arthur Hyman died earlier this month. He taught at Yeshiva University in New York City for 55 years, and published groundbreaking research on Jewish, Islamic, and Christian medieval philosophy.
See the brief notice here, and the eulogy here, and the collection of interviews here.
Here are two brief announcements about achievements in the field, one old and one newer.
- The old news, from over the summer, is that Lodi Nauta (Groningen) has won the 2016 Spinoza Prize from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. The prize is worth 2.5 million euros. As with the similar Leibniz Prize in Germany (which medievalists have also done well with), the point of the funding is to support the creation of a research team, in this case to explore the territory between medieval and early modern philosophy. Some of the positions at Groningen advertised this fall are the result of this prize.
- The newer news is that Therese Cory’s paper “Knowing as Being? A Metaphysical Reading of the Identity of Intellect and Intelligibles in Aquinas” has been selected as the winner of the American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly’s 2016 Rising Scholar Award. (Thanks to Gloria Frost for the information.)
Congratulations to Therese Scarpelli Cory, who has won the annual article prize at the Journal of the History of Philosophy, for “Rethinking Abstractionism: Aquinas’s Intellectual Light and Some Arabic Sources.” This is the first time a paper in medieval philosophy has won.
Umberto Eco, distinguished historian of medieval philosophy and occasional novelist, died last week at the age of 84.