Historiography: Philosophy and Its History

Erasmus University Rotterdam The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and the Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) invite PhD students in philosophy to register for the course “Historiography: Philosophy and Its History” to take place in March to May 2016

Organizing university

Erasmus University Rotterdam


18 March, 1 & 22 April, 13 & 27 May 2016

Type of activity

5-day course

Primary target group

PhD students

If places available, also open to

2nd year ReMa students

About the topic

During the course, students will be introduced to (1) the history of the history of philosophy and (2) a variety of historiographical positions with regard to the study of the history of philosophy. Students will be encouraged to discern, and to form their own opinion on, the following aspects in relation to these themes: (i) the existence and relevance of regional varieties in studying the history of Western philosophy; (ii) the differences and tensions between related areas such as the history of philosophy, the history of ideas, the history of concepts and intellectual history; (iii) the possibility of philosophical falsifications of the intellectual history and the history of ideas; (iv) the existence of a variety of interpretations of what the history of philosophy should be like, e.g. either a scientific form of historical investigation independent of philosophy proper, or a way of dealing with contemporary philosophical issues on the basis of historical examples; (v) the relevance of academic or political contexts on the way in which scholars relate to the history of philosophy.

The course will be offered by a number of historians of philosophy and a number of scholars with a special interest in historiographical questions in relation to philosophy.

Students are to write an essay of around 5000 words in which they relate to a significant number of themes that were raised during the course and present their own historiographical position with respect to their own subject of research.

* Richard Rorty, J.B. Schneewind and Quentin Skinner (eds), Philosophy in History: Essays on the Historiography of Philosophy, Cambridge: Cambridge U.P., 1984.
* Mogens Lærke, Justin E.H. Smith and Eric Schliesser (eds), Philosophy and Its History: Aims and Methods in the Study of Early Modern Philosophy, Oxford: Oxford U.P., 2013.
* Further literature will be supplied before as well as during the course.


1. Friday, 18 March 2016

* Han van Ruler (EUR): Introduction – ‘Historiography in the History of Philosophy: Changing Perspectives from 1984 to 2015’
* Dirk van Miert (UU): ‘The Historiography of Philosophy in the Eighteenth-Century History of Knowledge’
* Henri Krop (EUR): ‘The History of the History of Philosophy’

2. Friday, 1 April 2016

* Marije Martijn (VU), ‘Changes in the Canon of the Classics’
* Eric Schliesser (UvA): ‘Anti-History Projects from Descartes to Cassirer’

3. Friday, 22 April 2016

* Delphine Antoine-Mahut (ENS Lyon): ‘The Institutionalization of the Spiritualist Tradition in Nineteenth-Century France’
* Ursula Renz (AAU Klagenfurt), ‘Why Philosophers Need Doing History of Philosophy’

4. Friday, 13 May 2016

* Han van Ruler (EUR): ‘What About Moral Philosophy?’
* Wiep van Bunge (EUR): ‘The Great Variety of Enlightenments’

5. Friday, 27 May 2016

* Han van Ruler and Eric Schliesser: Conclusion
* Presentation of student papers
* Closing

Certificate / credit points



The course is free for:

– PhD students who are a member of the OZSW;
– Research Master students who are a member of the OZSW;

All others pay a tuition fee of 250 euros.

How to apply / register

Please fill out the application form below. The deadline for registration is February 26, 2016.

In case of too many applications, the coordinator of the course will make a selection. In case of too little applications, the course will be cancelled. In case of cancellation, the OZSW will inform participants at least one week in advance. The OZSW is not responsible for any (accommodation) costs that students may have made in preparation for the course.

Registration/application form


Prof. Han van Ruler (EUR) and Prof. Eric Schliesser (UvA)