Descartes Conducts Demonstration

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.

This year's colloquium, Cognizing as Being in the History of Philosophy, will take place on April 12-13, 2023. Our speakers include:

  • Fedor Benevich, University of Edinburgh
  • Julia Borcherding, University of Cambridge
  • Jonathan Buttaci, The Catholic University of America
  • Caleb Cohoe, Metropolitan University of Denver
  • Therese Cory, University of Notre Dame
  • Lloyd Gerson, University of Toronto
  • Katharina Kraus, University of Notre Dame
  • Ursula Renz, University of Graz
  • Denis Robichaud, University of Notre Dame
  • Sebastian Rödl, University of Leipzig
  • Jan Westerhoff, University of Oxford
  • Mark Wrathall, University of Oxford

The purpose of this conference is to assemble a wide-ranging perspective on the history and vicissitudes of a certain pattern of theorizing about cognition as a kind of being, or even as being itself.  While this view has made important appearances throughout the historical tradition of philosophy, it has largely “gone missing,” so to speak, from our contemporary conversations about the mind, and even, to a significant extent, from contemporary scholarship about the history of philosophy of mind. 

For more event details, please visit the 2023 colloquium page.