Get the last few spots.

There are a few spots left to attend our Sommer School, organised by the Institute of Philosophy, the University of Zadar and the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists (Paderborn).

This year’s topic is: Women in the History of Philosophy – Challenging the Canon.

Application deadline: July 1, 2022

The Summer School takes place from July 11-14 in-person only, in beautiful Zadar.

You can look forward to lectures by Centre Members and Fellows: Ruth Hagengruber, Jil Muller, Chelsea C. Harry, Núria Sara Boronat, Luka Boršić and Kateryna Karpenko.

 Find out more about their lectures here:

Ruth Hagengruber: Du Châtelet and Kant – claiming the renewal of philosophy

Kant’s claim expressed in the first edition of his Critique of Pure Reason to have delivered a new, namely transcendental turn in philosophy, as he was able to retrace our cognition to the origin of phenomena, was not accepted in his time as it is today. Eberhard holds that there was nothing new, but all delivered in Leibniz and Wolff; to prove his claim he refers to Du Châtelet’s Institutions. In my lecture I will present some of Du Châtelet’s ideas highlighting its precursory and inspirational influence on Kant which can be seen not only in Kant’s early dissertation but also in the Critique and other later writings. I will also lay out how to understand Du Châtelet’s claim “to penetrate to the origin of phenomena” and to renew philosophy.


Jil Muller: Émilie du Châtelet and René Descartes

Émilie du Châtelet’s philosophy is often seen as opposed to Cartesianism, and her Institutions de physique are said to derive on the one hand from Leibniz’s and Wolff’s, and on the other from Newton’s principles. She is often seen listed among those opposing Voltaire’s view against Cartesianism, and she seems to be a proponent of the “Causa” Newton. Besides the central question of whether an “anti-Cartesian” is also an opponent of Descartes’ philosophy, the fact remains that du Châtelet devotes an important place to Descartes in her Avant-Propos of the Institutions. Descartes is there described as a modern philosopher who brought light into the darkness of physics or natural theory and who must therefore not be forgotten in the history of philosophy. Without Descartes, du Châtelet says, her own physics would not even be possible. The main aim of this lecture is to work out to what extent du Châtelet is inspired or influenced by Descartes. The Lettre-préface of Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy and the Avant-Propos show some interfaces that underline a reception of Cartesian philosophy in that of du Châtelet. It is also striking that at least the first four chapters of the Institutions reflect the first part of the Principles. Consequently, I will compare du Châtelet’s chapter on the Existence of God, to Descartes’ proofs in the Meditations and in the Principles.


Chelsea C. Harry: What can Sappho and Günderrode tell us about the meaning of philosophy?

What is a philosopher, or a philosopHER?  How do they think and express themselves?  What sorts of problems are they interested in?  My lecture begins with the contention that, although the Western philosophical “tradition” and canon seem to answer these questions for us, beginning with perhaps Pythagoras, or maybe Aristotle, they remain open-ended and perennial in nature.  The reasoning behind this proposal challenges the expectation that knowledge is always analytic, quantifiable, intentional, and explicit.  Using Sappho of Lesbos (6th c. BCE) and Karoline von Günderrode (German, early 19th c.) as examples, I work to illustrate that philosophy as a love of wisdom in fact can love many different sorts of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.  I conclude that philosophy has no bounds of its curiosity, which opens it up to unabashed inclusion and truth in its many ways of being.


Further information can be found here:

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