Philosophy and Historiography

in association with the Open University Mind, Meaning and Rationality Research Group, the University of York Department of Philosophy, and the Open University Centre for the History of the Mathematical Sciences

and supported by Cambridge University Press, Routledge, and the French Embassy in the UK

Robinson College, Cambridge

3-5 April 2006

The aim of this conference is to explore the relationship between philosophy and historiography, focusing on the historiography of philosophy, mathematics and science. Themes to be covered include:

  • historiography of philosophy (as concerned with the theory and practice of writing history of philosophy)
  • history of historiography of philosophy (as concerned with the ways in which the history of philosophy has been constructed through history, for example by particular philosophers in motivating their own work)
  • the relationship between historiography of philosophy and historiography of mathematics, science and other disciplines
  • the relationship between historiography of philosophy and philosophy of history



Registration form

Speakers include:

Theodore Arabatzis (Athens), ‘The historiography and the philosophy of science: towards a two-way traffic’

Vasily Arslanov (IMPRS Max-Planck-Institut für Geschichte), ‘Can the historian be non-partisan? Philosophical paradoxes in the Chronicle of Sebastian Franck’

Michael Beaney (York), ‘Analytic philosophy and historiography’

Josep Maria Bech (Barcelona), ‘Merleau-Ponty’s historiography of philosophy encourages sociologism despite its ontological background’

Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent (Paris X, Nanterre), ‘Meyerson a chemist turned philosopher’

Mark Bevir (Berkeley), ‘Philosophical historiography: a postanalytic perspective’

Constance Blackwell (International Society for Intellectual History), ‘The progress of philosophy: Pierre Gassendi's De origine et varietate logicae and its use as a model for a history of philosophy as the progress of thought: Jena 1700-1744’

Vivienne Brown (Open University), ‘Historiography, interpretation and philosophy of mind’

Teresa Castelão-Lawless (Grand Valley University, USA), ‘Does science have the history of philosophy it deserves?’

Leo Catana (Copenhagen), ‘Jacob Brucker’s historiographical concept “system of philosophy”’

Kevin Chang (Academia Sinica, Taiwan), ‘From vitalistic earth to materialistic globe: Johann Joachim Becher and Georg Ernst Stahl on subterranean physics and chemistry of minerals’

Cristina Chimisso (Open University), ‘Philosophy as reflection on history of philosophy and science in the work of Léon Brunschvicg’

Michele Del Prete (Berlin), ‘The conclusion of the history of philosophy and the end of philosophy: Franz Rosenzweig’s anti-Hegelian interpretation of a Hegelian topos’

Giuseppina D’Oro (Keele), ‘The philosophy of history and the philosophy of action’

Matthew D Eddy (Durham), ‘Names, ideas and signs: the medical and philosophical foundations of Dugald Stewart's ‘nominalistic' philosophy of mind’

José Ferreirós (Seville), ‘In and with the rest of knowledge: reflections on mathematics, science and philosophy in the 19th century’

Franz Leander Fillafer (Max-Planck-Institute for History, Göttingen/IFK, Vienna), ‘Structural isomorphisms of language and reality: historiographical perspectives’

Hanjo Glock (Reading), ‘Analytic philosophy and history – a mismatch’

Frédéric Goubier (Québec), ‘Late medieval philosophy and rational reconstruction: the ideal match?’

Jeremy Gray (Open University), ‘Mathematicians compelled to become philosophers: history, philosophy, and the history of mathematics’

Michael Heidelberger (Tübingen), ‘Emile Boutroux’s conception of the historiography of philosophy: a Franco-German affair’

Sarah Hutton (Middlesex), ‘Books, history and philosophy: libraries and the history of early modern philosophy’

Joel Isaac (Cambridge), ‘Beyond platonism and social determinism: American analytic philosophy in historical context’

Anja Skaar Jacobsen (Roskilde), ‘The relation between Marxist philosophy of history, philosophy of science, and the historiography of science in the work of Léon Rosenfeld’

Dale Jacquette (Pennsylvania), ‘Collingwood on historical authority and historical imagination’

Nick Jardine (Cambridge), ‘Gadamer’s “merely historical understanding” of dead philosophical questions’

Duncan Kelly (Sheffield), ‘Adam Smith: the history of philosophy and the propriety of liberty’

Vasso Kindi (Athens), ‘Glancing at history’

Martin Kusch (Cambridge), ‘Sociological approaches to the history of philosophy’

Jouni Kuukkanen (Edinburgh), ‘Existence and definability of ideas and concepts in history’

Chris Lauer (Pennsylvania State University), ‘Historiographical necessity in Heidegger’s Beiträge and Hegel’s Differenzschrift

Chris Lawn (Limerick), ‘Hermeneutics and the history of philosophy’

Marion Ledwig (Stockholm), ‘How one should understand a dead philosopher: experimental psychology applied to the history of philosophy’

Carlos Eduardo Nogueira Loddo (Québec), ‘“Reconstruction” vs. “restauration” in the historiography of philosophy’

Christopher Minkowski (Oxford), ‘Sanskrit knowledge and the world history of science’

Herman Paul (Groningen), ‘Prefiguring the historical field: an empirical study of metahistory’

Sami Pihlström (Helsinki), ‘Synthesizing traditions: rewriting the history of pragmatism and transcendental philosophy’

Aaron Preston (Malone College, Ohio), ‘What the history of the historiography of analytic philosophy teaches us about historiography, philosophy, and analytic philosophy’

Jarmo Pulkkinen (Oulu), ‘Technical metaphors and history of philosophy: Christian Wolff’s clockwork universe’

Richard Randell (Webster University, Geneva), ‘The intentionalist methodology of Quentin Skinner’

Martina Reuter (Helsinki), ‘Appearance, truth and limitations: Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s remarks on the historiography of philosophy’

Henrique Jales Ribeiro (Coimbra), ‘On the history of the history of analytical philosophy’

Alan Richardson (UBC), ‘What, for history, is logical empiricism? Remarks toward an empirical history of logical empiricism’

Eelco Runia (Groningen), ‘Vico and the metonymical structure of historical knowledge’

Steve Russ (Warwick), ‘The ‘grounding’ of truths in Bolzano’s philosophy and his mathematics’

Raffaella Santi (Urbino), ‘Historiography and the unity of philosophy and of science: Hegel and Whewell’

S.-J. Savonius (Cambridge), ‘Pierre Bayle and John Locke’

Michael Schleeter (Pennsylvania State University), ‘Hegel and the myth of teleological historiography’

Richard W. Serjeantson (Cambridge), ‘Problems in the historiography of early modern philosophy and science: the case of human understanding’

Quentin Skinner (Cambridge), ‘The post-modern challenge and the interpretation of texts’

Carlos Spoerhase (Berlin), ‘Do we have to forget the present in order to understand the past? A vindication of present-centred methodologies in the history of philosophy’

M. A. Stewart (Aberdeen), ‘Placing Hume historically’

Sami Syrjämäki (Tampere), ‘Quentin Skinner on anachronism’

Leon ter Schure (Groningen), ‘Presence: a new perspective in philosophy of history?’

Georgette Taylor (UCL), ‘The boundaries of affinity: drawing a line between chemistry and natural philosophy’

Miira Tuominen (Helsinki), ‘Are the ancient commentators on Plato and Aristotle historians of philosophy?’

Avi Tucker (Belfast), ‘Our knowledge of the past: or how to prove that your students plagiarized?’

Koen Vermeir (Cornell), ‘The concept of “reality” in recent historiography’

Adrian Wilson (Leeds), ‘Historiography and the resistance to theory’

In addition, there is a special session organized on the writing of The Cambridge History of Philosophy, sponsored by Cambridge University Press. Several more volumes of this have appeared in the last few years, with two more due to be published shortly, and various of the editors will be participating in a round table discussion, chaired by John Rogers (Keele), editor of the BJHP. The editors include:

Michael Ayers (Oxford)

Thomas Baldwin (York)

Knud Haakonssen (Sussex)

Quentin Skinner (Cambridge)


Dr Cristina Chimisso, Department of Philosophy, Open University, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA.


Dr Michael Beaney, Department of Philosophy, University of York, York, YO10 5DD.