About Our Colloquium

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.