Worth Mentioning This

CFA: Iberica Philosophica Mediaevalia

~ Call for Applications ~ 

Editorial Committee | Comité editorial
Iberica Philosophica Mediaevalia

After almost five year and 56 monthly issues of Iberica Philosophica Medievalia, it is time for a change. Many colleagues have expressed their frustration concerning the lack of space for real discussion in the means of communication that we currently have. Academic journals are unable to host reflective accounts of what is going on in the field or methodological thoughts about what we are doing and how to improve it. Moreover, these troubled times have shown us the importance of finding ways to strengthen our collaborations through better practices and by nurturing of a sense of proximity among the global community of medieval philosophers.

With a growing network of hundreds of subscribers from all over the world, Iberica Philosophica Mediaevalia has the potential to address some of these perceived needs. Accordingly, we have decided to try and give Iberica Philosophica Mediaevalia a new format. You will still receive updates and news about recent publications, upcoming events, call for papers, jobs, and so on. Yet the plan is to give some space to more critical updates on new lines of research, interviews, videos, and accounts from departments, institutions, and society. It is our conviction that such a fluid format (a hybrid: half newsletter, half newspaper) will strengthen the sense of community in our field, improve international collaborations, and provide all of us with a space in which different points of view can be discussed and analysed from a multitude of perspectives.

The first step towards the foundation of an “Iberica Philosophica Medievalia 2.0” is the formation of an editorial committee, which Nicola Polloni has been requested to direct for the time being. The editorial committee shall represent different geographical areas and reflect the best policies of inclusion and diversity. Brave young researchers are especially encouraged to submit their applications. To apply, send an email with your CV to Nicola Polloni at the following email address: nicola.polloni@kuleuven.be by 15 January 2022.

Después de casi cinco años y 56 números mensuales de Iberica Philosophica Medievalia, es el momento de introducir cambios. Muchos compañeros han expresado su frustración por la falta de espacios para una verdadera discusión en los medios de comunicación con los que contamos actualmente. Las revistas académicas no pueden albergar relatos reflexivos de lo que está sucediendo en nuestro campo de investigación, o pensamientos metodológicos sobre lo que estamos haciendo y cómo mejorarlo. Además, estos tiempos convulsos han puesto de manifiesto la importancia de encontrar formas de fortalecer nuestra colaboración a través de prácticas que fomenten un sentido de proximidad entre la comunidad global de filósofos conocedores del pensamiento medieval.

Con una red creciente de cientos de suscriptores de todo el mundo, Iberica Philosophica Mediaevalia tiene capacidad para abordar algunas de las carencias que hemos mencionado. En consecuencia, hemos decidido intentar dar un nuevo formato a Iberica Philosophica Mediaevalia. Se seguirán recibiendo actualizaciones y noticias sobre publicaciones recientes, próximos eventos, convocatorias de ponencias, etc. Sin embargo, nuestro plan consiste abrir espacio a actualizaciones más críticas sobre nuevas líneas de investigación, entrevistas, videos y relatos de departamentos, instituciones y la sociedad en su conjunto. Estamos convencidos de que un formato fluido (un híbrido boletín y periódico) fortalecerá el sentido de comunidad en nuestro campo de investigación, mejorará las colaboraciones internacionales y nos brindará a todos un espacio en el que se puedan discutir diferentes puntos de vista y analizarlos desde diferentes perspectivas.

El primer paso hacia la fundación de una “Iberica Philosophica Medievalia 2.0” es la formación de un Comité editorial, que el Dr. Nicola Polloni se encargará de dirigir por el momento. El Comité editorial representará diferentes áreas geográficas y reflejará las mejores políticas de inclusión y diversidad. Se anima especialmente a jóvenes investigadores audaces a que presenten sus solicitudes. Para postularse, envíe un correo electrónico antes del 15 de enero de 2022, incluyendo su CV, al Dr. Nicola Polloni: nicola.polloni@kuleuven.be.

Mapping the Journey, Worth Mentioning This

Hylomorphism into Pieces (CFA)

~ Call for Abstracts ~

Hylomorphism into Pieces:
Matter, Atoms, and Corpuscles in the Late Middle Ages

Stockholm and Leuven, 7-8 April 2022

Sylvain Roudaut and Nicola Polloni

Hylomorphism, the doctrine claiming that physical bodies are metaphysically composed of matter and form, was among the most successful, widespread, and influential theories in the later Middle Ages. Yet hylomorphism had its fair share of problems, which gradually arose during the later Middle Ages. In the 17th century, it became common to claim that the principles of matter and form are unnecessary to explain natural processes and the structure of beings. Like many conceptual shifts in the history of philosophy, detachment from the Aristotelian framework was in many respects the final result of a gradual evolution in the way in which matter and form were conceived and applied as speculative devices.

Important aspects of the strong oppositions to hylomorphism in 17th-century philosophy have been object of recent studies. Nonetheless, the story of how this doctrine and its associated concepts proper to Aristotelianism gradually declined in the late Middle Ages still has to be properly assessed, especially in consideration of the fundamental theoretical developments of the 15th and 16th centuries. Organised by Sylvain Roudaut (Stockholm) and Nicola Polloni (Leuven), the conference “Hylomorphism into Pieces: Elements, Atoms and Corpuscles in the Late Middle Ages” aims to fill this gap by studying the major steps of this story from the late 14th century to the late 16th century.

The rejection of hylomorphism as explanatory device for the constitution of natural bodies was drastically facilitated by the influence of competing justifications of the internal structure of bodies. The rediscovery of Lucretius’ De natura rerum in the early 15th century, together with new translations of other materials from Antiquity, generated new ideas about the structure of bodies and the type of explanation required for natural processes. But how were those new theories of matter received and integrated into the still dominant Aristotelian vocabulary of the time in the first place? To what extent did philosophers of the 15th and 16th centuries—including scholastic thinkers—try to reconcile hylomorphism and these new theories of matter?

Another crucial point of discussion is the theme of minima naturalia, which was originally discussed within the scholastic framework and in connection with problems proper to Aristotelian natural philosophy (such as the problems of spatial and temporal limits). But is it legitimate to regard late medieval theories of minima naturalia as corpuscularist or pre-corpuscularist conceptions of matter? To what extent did those theories pave the way for more radical corpuscularist conceptions of nature?

Finally, in Aristotelian natural philosophy, hylomorphism was accompanied by another theory of composition, taking bodies as elemental mixtures—those two types of composition being notoriously hard to reconcile. In what way did atomism affect the relation between those theories and benefitted the bottom-up approach typical of elemental composition? Similar questions can be asked about the notions of act and potency, which were increasingly detached from Aristotelian hylomorphism due to the development of corpuscularist accounts of motion.

With a hybrid format, Hylomorphism into Pieces will take place on 7-8 April 2022 in both Stockholm and Leuven, as well as in anyone’s laptop via Zoom. Interested participants should send their proposal (short abstract and title) to Sylvain Roudaut (sylvain.roudaut[at]hotmail.com) and Nicola Polloni (nicola.polloni[at]kuleuven.be) by 30 October 2021. Acceptance of the proposals will be announced by 15 November 2021. Please, contact the organisers for any query you might have.

Worth Mentioning This

8th SOFIME Congress

It starts tomorrow and is going to be big. The eighth international congress of Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval is going to take place in Porto (PT) and in everyone’s house thanks to a blended format that allows people who cannot travel to Portugal to attend and engage with a delicious menu of talks and lectures. Take a look here! SOFIME has been the first learned society that I joined, quite some years ago, when I was a graduate student with many ideas and much enthusiasm. It’s a shame that I’m not going to make it to the congress this year, at least not with my physical presence.

Too much work and too many deadlines inherited from a crazy 18-months pandemic. But I will be there remotely, like many others, trying to cope with a situation that has disrupted our lives in many ways and to reinvent what was once simple and usual (a congress, a workshop, a class) and is now less obvious and straightforward.