Today, scholars increasingly recognize that a more authentic and organic reading of historical philosophical theories can be achieved by crossing—and even breaking down—the boundaries of the historical periods that have traditionally constrained research in this area. For instance, Descartes scholarship finds inspiration in the metaphysical developments of late Scholasticism; scholars of the early 13th century turn to classical Islamic philosophy to understand what motivated their authors, etc.
By opening up a more extensive philosophical landscape, research across periods also brings to light the fundamental theoretical commitments and divergences that animated past philosophers and that continue to offer interesting possibilities for philosophical inquiry today. There currently exist, however, few venues in which scholars can pursue cross-period engagement. The Notre Dame History of Philosophy Colloquium aims to provide such a venue, with a series of annual colloquia that will intensively explore over two days a single key theme across the history of philosophy.
Our inaugural History of Philosophy Colloquium will take place April 8-9, 2021, on the theme, “Philosophy throughout Its History.” Speakers will consider how philosophers at different historical times and places understood the project in which they were engaged. How did they conceptualize “philosophy”? What did they think distinguishes philosophical endeavors from other intellectual activities such as science or theology? What did they imagine the individual and social benefits of philosophy to be, and how did they critique the philosophical project itself? This colloquium will explore the self-understanding of a key humanities discipline throughout the ages.
Speaker list and conference information will be added soon.