From 22nd November to 26th November 2021, Prof. George N. Vlahakis from the Hellenic Open University, School of Humanities and Prof. Chelsea C. Harry from Southern Connecticut State University (USA) will visit the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists. Prof. Vlahakis comes for the first visit for the opening of the joint Erasmus Study program between the two universities: the University of Paderborn and the Hellenic Open University.
Prof. George N. Vlahakis is Associate Professor at the Hellenic Open University, School of Humanities. He is the Director of the M. Sc. Program on “Science Communication”. His main research interest is the history of science in South-Eastern Europe with a focus on comparative studies in the framework of the so-called “periphery-center” scheme. His main research areas are history of science, science and literature, science and religion, science education, enlightenment and science communication. He has participated in many international Conferences and he has published papers and books in Greek and English. He is also editor of thematic volumes and special issues of scientific journals. His last book, Science and Literature: Poetry and Prose, was published in 2021, in a digital publication. Prof. Chelsea C. Harry is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Assistant Chairperson at Southern Connecticut State University (USA). She is a philosopher of nature, and her work is rooted in the history of ideas. Her historical areas of speciality include ancient Greek, especially Aristotelian naturalism, and late 18th-19th century German thought. She is the author of the book: Chronos in Aristotle’s Physics: On the Nature of Time, Springer, 2015. She is completing a manuscript on Aristotelian naturalism: Maximal Living: An Aristotelian Argument for Animal Wellbeing. With Prof. Vlahakis, she is co-editing Women in the History of Science, Philosophy, and Literature, forthcoming in the Springer series Women Philosophers and Scientists, eds. Ruth Hagengruber and Mary Ellen Waithe. She published some of her work on Sappho as a philosopher of time on the American Philosophical Association Blog, in 2021: “Sappho of Lesbos was a Lover of Wisdom, but what kind?” Her research on Sappho’s philosophy of time is forthcoming with Springer’s series, “Women Philosophers and Scientists,” and in the Routledge Handbook of Women and Ancient Greek Philosophy.
During their stay, the Center for the History of Women Philosophers and Scientists, under the direction of Ruth Hagengruber, organizes a workshop, under the organisation of Dr. Jil Muller, on “Space and Time: 18th–19th century Women Philosophers and Scientists.” Four research talks will address four female philosophers. Dr. Clara Carus will talk about Émilie du Châtelet to show her unique approach to the concepts of relative and absolute space. Du Châtelet’s 1740 Institutions de physique includes extended discussions of space and time, and she takes the clarification of these concepts to be crucial for the foundations of physics. Du Châtelet went on to translate and comment on Newton’s Principia, in addition to writings on experimental philosophy, biblical criticism, ethics, and more. Prof. Chelsea C. Harry will speak about temporality in the work of Karoline von Günderrode. She was a German poet of the Romantic period, that irritated many of her readers. Like other romantics such as Hölderlin, she was enthusiastic about the ideas of the French Revolution, and she was imbued, from an early age, with the great themes of her work: slavery and freedom, love and death. By writing on these themes, she apparently violated conventions of the time about how a woman should behave and how she should write poetry. She also was the mistress of a married man and was burdened by the irresolvable conflict between her need for freedom and the female role of the time. Dr. Jil Muller will talk about Sophie Germain and her conception of space and time in Pensées diverses. The French mathematician, who had to exchange letters under a male pseudonym to get in contact with great Parisian professors, is famous for the Sophie Germain theorem concerning numbers. She wrote one major philosophical text, that was published posthumously by her nephew, Considérations générales sur l’état des Sciences et des Lettres aux différentes époques de leur culture, to which the Pensées diverses were a crucial addition. Prof. George N. Vlahakis will invent an imaginative dialogue between Hegel and Helle Lambrides on time. Lambrides was a Greek female philosopher of the 20th century. She published over 100 works on many topics, from the history of ancient Greek philosophy to modern analytic philosophy and even Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre.
All talks are now available as Podcasts. You can find the podcasts here.
Further information about the Workshop can be found here:
Space and Time: 18th -19th Century Women Philosophers and Scientists
Dr. Jil Muller
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