News of February 2023
News about philosophy and its history in February 2023
Opportunities in February 2023
Career and research opportunities in February 2023
From Data to Wisdom: An Interview with José Higuera
How was data gathered and visualised in the Middle Ages and Early Modernity? Can we learn something about our contemporary way of dealing with data by looking to the past? In this interview, José Higuera Rubio (UNED, Madrid) presents the outcomes of the project “From Data to Wisdom”, held at the Institute of Philosophy, University of Porto, between 2018 and 2022. This interdisciplinary project aimed at philosophising about visualisation tools such as diagrams, charts, and Porphyrian trees and how they are connected to philosophical theories on the mind, imagination and demonstration. A second goal of the project was to make a joint effort to understand these tools from the point of view of contemporary hermeneutics of technology. There was also time for advice to young scholars and opening prospects for the future.
Philosophy Coaching: An Interview with Christophe Porot
“An unexamined life is not worth living,” said Socrates at the trial upon which he was condemned to death. Can philosophers add value to your life by helping you reflect upon and critically evaluate your everyday problems, moral dilemmas, and issues you would like to explore? Can you be coached in leading a philosophical life? If yes, how? Christophe Porot, doctoral student in philosophy and philosopher coach, speaks here of his own experience of coaching as a process of what he calls “uncorking,” which he describes as a way of “enabling all of someone’s deepest thoughts to flow from the core of their thinking process out into the open,” and “having [their] philosophy elaborated on through every angle before a lightly Socratic questioning period that attempts to explore the strongest version of one’s philosophy.” Philosophy coaching is, thus, very different from teaching: it does not aim at teaching people what to do and think but at “unlocking their ability to think freely.” Porot believes that this process can contribute to happiness in so far as it cultivates freedom and responsibility of thought. In this interview, he tells us about his sources of inspiration, coaching methods, and the positive impact that this activity has brought to his work and research.
Recently published books and volumes
Our selection of books for February 2023
The Arabic and Latin Glossary and Corpus Projects: Medieval Philosophy Meets Digital Humanities, with Interviews with Prof. Dag Nikolaus Hasse and Andreas Büttner
Professor Dag Nikolaus Hasse and his team at the Julius-Maximilians Universität Würzburg (Germany) are among the major contributors to the development of digital humanities in the field of medieval philosophy with two (complementary) long-term projects: the “Arabic and Latin Glossary” (ALGloss), since 2005, and “Arabic and Latin Corpus” (ALCorpus), since 2016. The ALGloss, funded by the Deutsche Vorschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) and previously by the Volkswagen Foundation (Hannover), is a freely accessible online lexicon of the vocabulary of medieval authors writing in Arabic and their medieval Latin translators. It is based on 42 sources and covers terminology from a variety of different sciences, including philosophy, theology, astronomy, medicine, botany, among others. The ALCorpus, funded by the DFG’s Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, is a digital collection of Arabic-Latin translations of the 10th to 14th centuries. It comprehends a total of 104 digital texts, in Arabic and in Latin, up until this date. Fifty more texts, many of which related to the field of magic and the occult sciences, will soon be made available.
Leonardo Chiocchetti is a PhD student at the Munich School of Ancient Philosophy, LMU-Munich (Germany). He is currently working under the supervision of Professor Christof Rapp. His thesis deals with the philosophical roots of ancient Greek grammar, focusing on the work of Apollonius Dyscolus and the Scholia to the Grammatical Handbook. Leonardo aims to show that ancient grammar was influenced not only by Stoic ontology and philosophy of language but also by other Hellenistic schools. In Apollonius’ case, many of his epistemological, semantical, and logical tenets seem to stem from a Peripatetic framework rather than a Stoic one. With this syncretistic background in mind, several grammatical texts which are philosophically dense become easier to interpret.
Philosopher’s Songs – Medieval Music Comes to Life at Cambridge
Medieval philosophy is immensely indebted to the last philosopher of Antiquity, Boethius. Witnessing the ultimate eclipse of the ancient world, that intellectual giant devoted himself to the task of preserving the achievements of greco-roman culture. It is hard to overemphasise his influence on the teaching of logic and metaphysics in the following centuries, and these areas are naturally most interesting for philosophers today. However, Boethius’ interest was far from being limited to translating and commenting on Aristotle. He also wrote manuals of the arts quadrivium: arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music, which were widely used in medieval universities. Indeed, Boethius’ impact on the curriculum was so rich that the historian R. W. Southern nicknamed him “the schoolmaster of medieval Europe”.