Methodology in the History of Philosophy

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW), the Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought and Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen invite all students in philosophy to register for the Summer School on Methodology in the History of Philosoph that will take place at the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Groningen from 26 to 29 June 2017.

Organizing university

University of Groningen


26 to 29 June 2017



Type of activity

Summer School

Type of activity


Primary target group

(Research) master students, PhDs and postdocs. Advanced bachelor students are also encouraged to attend.

Application/registration deadline

1 May 2017

About the topic

This summer school will offer a clear overview of different approaches to the study of the history of philosophy. Participants will be encouraged to reflect upon their own practices of interpretation, and develop a more thought-through method to approach philosophical texts of the past. The summer school also aims to foster interactions between philosophers at different stages of their career, as well as between philosophers working in different fields.

During the morning sessions there will be lectures by established scholars working in different areas of the history of philosophy. Some of these lectures will deal with the issue of methodology directly, while others will do so by means of a case study of recent research.

In the afternoons, there will be short presentations by participants, as well as round table discussions on selected texts. Participants who wish to present may either present a short paper on methodology or a case study of their own research.


The summer school runs from Monday 26 to Thursday 29 June. We will have a collective dinner on Monday evening.

The Summer School Office (SSO) offers all participants a free city tour on the Sunday afternoon preceding the summer school (June 25), followed by drinks (on the house). We encourage all participants to be present.

9:00 – 11:30 Doina-Cristina Rusu: Reproducing past practices: Early modern experiments and their difficulties
11:45 – 13:15 Andrea Sangiacomo: The normalization of ideas: methods and approaches
13:15 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:00 Round table discussion
16:15 – 17:45 Round table discussion
9:00 – 11:30 Mogens Laerke: The construction of controversies: Texts, pretexts, contexts and circumstances
11:45 – 13:15 Martin Lenz TBA
13:15 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:00 Round table discussion
16:15 – 17:45 Round table discussion
9:00 – 11:30 TBA TBA
11:45 – 13:15 Catarina Dutilh-Novaes TBA
Free afternoon
9:00 – 11:30 John Marenbon: Why we need a real history of philosophy
11:45 – 13:15 Sara Uckelman: History of logic vs. historical logic
13:15 – 14:30 Lunch
14:30 – 16:00 Round table discussion
16:15 – 17:45 Round table discussion


Andrea Sangiacomo (University of Groningen)

Andrea Sangiacomo is an assistant professor at the Department of History of Philosophy at the University of Groningen. He worked extensively on Spinoza, especially concerning his ontology, moral philosophy and his sources. Recently, he started a new NWO research project (Veni) on the medieval and later-scholastics roots of occasionalism and on its impact on the shaping of seventeenth and eighteenth century science.
Sara Uckelman (Durham University)

My interests in logic and medieval history both developed in high school, but it wasn’t until I was doing my PhD in Amsterdam that I discovered they actually did logic in the Middle Ages, and from that moment on, my career path was set. For the last decade, I have taken my knowledge of contemporary logical techniques back to medieval logical texts to try to decipher what they are doing, and in turn taking the new insights that I have gained from reading the medieval texts back to 21st century problems. This research takes me to medievalist conferences and mathematical conferences, and many things in between, and one thing I have learned is that I am very much a logician, not a historian. What’s the difference, and what difference does it make to the methodologies used to study historical logic? Come to my talk and find out….

Mogens Laerke (CNRS)

Born in Denmark in 1971, I am a senior researcher, or directeur de recherche, at the national French research institution, the CNRS, with an affiliation at the research lab IHRIM (UMR 5317) at the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon. This is also where I originally did my PhD with Pierre-François Moreau in 2003. Before returning to my French alma mater in 2011, I worked in Denmark, Israel, the United States, and Scotland. I have mainly written on early modern philosophy, mostly Leibniz and Spinoza, including two books (Leibniz lecteur de Spinoza from 2008, and Les Lumières de Leibniz from 2015) and an awful lot of articles and chapters. I have also co-edited some volumes (The Use of Censorship in the Enlightenment (2009); The Philosophy of the Young Leibniz (2009); Philosophy and Its History (2013); Spinoza/Leibniz. Rencontres, controverses, réceptions (2014). I like organizing events and co-organize, among other things, the yearly Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy since 2009. Right now I am working on a book on State-Church relations in early modern philosophy, from Justius Lipsius to Moses Mendelssohn, and a host of other, smaller projects.
Martin Lenz (University of Groningen)

Martin Lenz is professor of philosophy and chair of the Department of History of Philosophy at the University of Groningen. Before joining the philosophy faculty at University of Groningen in 2012, he studied in Bochum, Budapest and Hull (Ph.D. in 2001 in Bochum) and spent his postdoctoral period in Cambridge, Tübingen and Berlin (Habilitation in 2009). Most of his work is on the philosophy of language and mind, metaphysics and epistemology. His historical research focuses on medieval and early modern philosophy.
Doina-Cristina Rusu (Univeristy of Groningen)

Doina-Cristina Rusu is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen. Her current project “Manipulating Spiritual Matter. How Did Early Modern Science Become Experimental?” focuses on the emergence of experimental philosophy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. She published on Francis Bacon, Giambattista della Porta, Hugh Platt, and feminine literature in the early modern period.
John Marenbon (University of Cambridge)

John Marenbon is a Fellow of the British Academy, Senior Research Fellow of Trinity College, and Honorary Professor of Medieval Philosophy, as well as Visiting Professor at the Philosophy Department of Peking University. His interests cover the whole breadth of philosophy in the Long Middle Ages (c. 200 – c. 1700), in the Latin and Greek Christian, Islamic and Jewish traditions. He has written both general books (especially Medieval Philosophy: an historical and philosophical introduction (2007) and (as editor) the Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy (2012), as well as more specialized studies of Boethius and Abelard. He also co-edited Methods and Methodologies: Aristotelian Logic East and West, 500-1500.
Catarina Dutilh Novaes (Univeristy of Groningen)

I am a professor and Rosalind Franklin fellow at the Department of Theoretical Philosophy of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Groningen. I am also an external member of the Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy, and one of the Editors-in-Chief of Synthese . My main fields of research are history and philosophy of logic and mathematics. I also have general interests in medieval philosophy, philosophy of psychology and cognitive science, general philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, issues pertaining to gender and race, and empirically-informed approaches to philosophy in general. From 2011 to 2016 I led the research project The Roots of Deduction.

Required preparations

Participants are expected to prepare the round table discussion in advance by studying assigned texts. These will be distributed through SurfDrive. There will be lectures by established scholars and presentations by participants, both of which are followed by plenty of time for discussion.

Certificate / credit points

If you wish to receive* credits (5 ECTS) for participating in the summer school, there are two options.

(1) You may give a brief presentation during the summer school and hand in the accompanying paper (3000-4000 words).

(2) You may write a longer paper (5000 words).

If you opt for (1), please also attach an abstract of your presentation to your application.

*Please note that all we can do is issue a certificate stating that we value this summer school at 5 ECTS and that you have successfully participated. If you are a student at another university, or at another faculty within the university of Groningen, you will have to ask your own administration if the ECTS can be included in your programme. We can provide you with a form with the required information.

All participants will receive a certificate of attendance.


The fee (€ 150) includes:

  • Participation in the summer school
  • Course materials
  • Coffee, tea and cookies during breaks
  • Four lunches
  • One dinner
  • A city tour on Sunday afternoon, followed by welcoming drinks

University of Groningen students, as well as ReMa and PhD students who are OZSW members  will receive a € 50,- discount.

Location / accommodation details

Participants need to arrange their own housing. For a list of accommodation possibilities, kindly contact Ms. Bianca Bosman ( )

How to apply / register

Apply for the summer school here.

Kindly fill out the online application form and attach a statement of interest, (1) explaining why you would like to participate in this summer school and (2) briefly outlining your academic background.

If you wish to receive credits and give a presentation during the summer school and hand in an accompanying paper, please also attach an abstract of your presentation to your application.

Application deadline is 1 May 2017.


Ms. Bianca Bosman ( ) and the OZSW office (