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Highlights: Philosophers in the JHP
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Last updated: August 2014

© Journal of the History of Philosophy, Inc.
Masters Classes in the History of Philosophy
Sponsored by The Journal of the History of Philosophy

Mindful of the challenges facing young scholars working in the history of philosophy, the Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy has established a program of Master Classes in the History of Philosophy.  The central idea of the program is that a senior scholar who works primarily in some area of the history of philosophy would undertake to direct an intensive week of master classes for the benefit of a small group of recent Ph.D.s whose main research and teaching are in the relevant area.  Normally, the classes will focus on one or more texts that are typically not part of material that the participants would have studied as graduate students.  The goal of the program is the enhancement of the expertise and understanding of the young scholars in their area of specialization.

Those chosen for the classes will be reimbursed for their the travel and living expenses up to $1750 each.  It is proposed that the number of participants will normally be between four and six, though it is possible that a slightly higher number can be accommodated.

All of the participants in the classes will be asked to provide within thirty days of its completion a letter describing their views about the success of the classes and any thoughts they may have about how to improve future classes. 


2015 Classes

Instructor: Peter King (The University of Toronto)

Topic: The History of the Will in the Middle Ages

Dates: June 22–26, 2015


Course Description:

There were three key moments in the development of the conception of the will during the Middle Ages: (i) its  “invention” by Augustine at the end of the 4thC; (ii) the “two-wills” or “double affection” theory of the will of Anselm of Canterbury in the late 11thC; (iii) the attempt to integrate the account of the will with the standard Aristotelian faculty psychology in High Scholasticism, ca. 1250–1350.  In this Master Class, we will examine the theory of the will put forward in each of these three stages, with readings drawn mainly from Augustine’s De libero arbitrio, Anselm’s De casu diaboli, the debates over the will as a self-determining motive faculty (Henry of Ghent, Godfrey of Fontaines, John Duns Scotus). Information about editions of the works to be read and about specific passages for focus will be distributed before the seminar. Participants will be expected to do the reading before they come to the University of Toronto. All texts will be read in Latin.


Eligibility: To be eligible one must have a Ph.D. or equivalent, awarded no earlier than 2010 but no later than the application deadline, November 15, 2014.  The classes are intended primarily for those who specialize in the subject area of the classes broadly conceived.

Application: Those interested in participating in the master classes for 2015 are asked to send an e-mail expressing their interest in participating in the classes, a one-page description of their current research plans and interests, and a complete curriculum vitae to the chair of the JHP committee overseeing the project, Lloyd Gerson (lloyd.gerson@utoronto.ca). 

Deadline for submission: November 15, 2014.  It is anticipated that an announcement of the committee’s selection from among applicants will be made in early January, 2015.