News about philosophy and its history in January 2023
Career and research opportunities in January 2023
Rewriting the History of Medieval Philosophy (or, a thousand years of philosophy): An interview with Andreas Speer
Prof. Andreas Speer (Cologne) is this issue’s interviewee for Philosophy and the Academy. Andreas has shared very interesting reflections about the Thomas-Institut, including his personal involvement of about thirty years with this renowned research center for medieval philosophy and studies. Besides hosting the Mediaevistentagung and producing its volumes in the series Miscellanea Mediaevalia (De Gruyter), the Thomas-Institut hosts under the collaboration of Prof. Speer a variety of projects mentioned in this interview, among which, for example, the Averroes Edition (directed by Andreas Speer and David Wirmer), the Durandus-Edition, the edition of the Hebrew-to-Latin translation of Maimonides’ Dux neutrorum, and much more. Clearly, this exemplifies a vision of medieval philosophy as cross-cultural and interreligious development, and then question naturally arises: how to write (or rewrite) a history of medieval philosophy which does justice to that? Is the category ‘medieval’ even accurate after all? With this in mind, Andreas is about to publish a book entitled “1000 Jahre Philosophie: Ein anderer Blick auf die Philosophie des “Mittelalters” (1000 years of philosophy: another look at the philosophy of the “Middle Ages”), coming this year on Brill.
IPM Monthly sits down to talk with Daniel Wardziński from The Saint Nicholas Foundation — a Warsaw-based charity established in 2002 by Joanna Paciorek and a philosopher Dariusz Karłowicz. Its initial mission was to organize support programs for the education of children living in poverty, orphans, and of other difficult backgrounds. Gradually, the foundation’s activities expanded and today it also publishes the Teologia Polityczna journal, with a focus on the intersection of political and religious studies. Helping Ukraine, which the foundation has been carrying out since 2019, is the subject of this month’s interview.
Our selection of books for January 2023
Digital Humanities is a world of possibilities. The fact that it means something concrete (as using digital technologies to learn, teach and spread knowledge pertaining to the Humanities), nonetheless, also means that it could be anything. We are then left with the search for what matters about Digital Humanities, how is it different from “non-digital” Humanities, and why is it necessary for the Humanities? Different fields would answer with their particularities, but in general, the picture contains the following details: in academic research, automatic text analysis, AI, and large databases have become standard means of inquiry; in education, online classes and web resources have made it possible to overcome social distances. The availability of digital content and the proximity between people in online environments has already begun to change the Humanities in very positive ways. The digital is also a source of creativity. Having to adapt a very classical canon for doing things to a whole new system, a new language in some cases, is bringing the best out of theory and practice.
To inaugurate 2023, let’s go to China with Zhenyu Cai! Zhenyu is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies at Peking University. Zhenyu’s main research interest is Islamic philosophy. He primarily focuses on Avicenna’s philosophy of mind and metaphysics, with a specific interest in the reception and criticisms of Avicenna’s philosophy in the post-Avicennian tradition.
Philosophy and Snickerdoodles: An Interview with Richard Taylor on Festive Recipes and an Old Tradition
How are Averroes and al-Ghazali connected to Sponge cakes, Rice Krispies, and Snickerdoodles? In the cold lands of Wisconsin, when the freezing wind blows from the lake and reminds to everyone that autumn will soon become winter, a professor of philosophy has started a long-lasting tradition that has made life far sweeter for hundreds of students and professors of philosophy. IPM Monthly had to find out more about this. We contacted Richard Taylor, from Marquette University. In our interview, Richard expands on the list of students’ recipes that he has started to collect in 1986 and the reasons behind this fascinating tradition. He also gives some culinary advice and reflections on how to build rapport with the students when dealing with philosophy and its history.