PHYSIS Summer Convivium 2024: Elements of Reasoning / Elements of Nature

(part of a series)

Location: The University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway

PHYSIS: the Notre Dame Laboratory for the Study of Nature in the Premodern World, housed in the University of Notre Dame’s John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values, in conjunction with the Notre Dame History of Philosophy Forum and with financial support of the Medieval Institute is seeking graduate student applicants to participate in a week-long advanced summer research seminar on the topic of Elements of Nature/Elements of Reasoning.

A distinctive feature of premodern philosophy and science is the organization of nature, reasoning, and methods into elements (στοιχεῖα). On the one hand, countless thinkers from the pre-Socratics to medieval philosophers either reduced nature into one or two, then four or five elements (earth, water, air, fire, and aether) or developed atomistic models, whether materialist or mathematical. On the other hand, philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians in the premodern world also conceived of elements of reasoning as they developed axiomatic methods of demonstration and argumentation. Perhaps the most famous example of this kind of reasoning is Euclid’s Elements (Στοιχεῖα), but other ancient and medieval thinkers composed works in elemental modes and formulated axiomatic methods. These two threads in the premodern history of philosophy and science are often studied independently, but careful examination identifies commonalities and attempts to connect the phenomena. 

The seminars will be held in Rome at the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway from
17-20 June, 2024 and will consist of 8 research faculty and 8 graduate students. All participants will be responsible for leading a research seminar on a related topic. Successful applicants will receive room and
board for the duration of the Convivium.

Confirmed Seminar Faculty Participants

  • Riccardo Chiaradonna, Università degli Studi Roma Tre
  • David Cory, University of Notre Dame
  • Therese Cory, University of Notre Dame
  • Robert Goulding, University of Notre Dame
  • Jan Opsomer, De Wulf-Mansion Centre for Ancient, Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy, KU-
  • Vincenzo de Risi, CNRS, France and Max Plank Institute for the History of Science, Berlin
  • Denis Robichaud, University of Notre Dame
  • Luca Tuninetti, Pontifica Università Urbaniana

Call for Graduate Student Applications

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