OZSW Autumn Course ‘Uncommon Notions: Fragments, Obscurities, Authority‘

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and Leiden University invite PhD students/ ReMa students in History of Philosophy to register for the course ‘Uncommon Notions: Fragments, Obscurities, Authority‘ to take place on 6 and 7 October, 2017.

Organizing university

Leiden University


6 and 7 October, 2017


Leiden University, Lipsius building, room 228
Cleveringaplaats 1
2311 BD Leiden

Type of activity

2-day autumn school

Type of activity

Regular Attendance: 1 EC. Attendees are expected to complete the entire event, and to familiarise themselves with the texts discussed in the sessions (these will be distributed in advance). Regular attendees are offered the opportunity to earn another 1.5 credit by submitting a written work equivalent to a presentation (submission to the OZSW History of Philosophy team, after the completion of the course), for a total of 2.5 EC.

Primary target group

PhD and ReMa students in the History of Philosophy

If places available, also open to

Other PhD and ReMa students

Application/registration deadline

The deadline for submission and registration is 25 September 2017.

About the topic

The course Uncommon Notions will discuss how the historian of philosophy deals with sources that are not immediately intelligible or whose status is not immediately intelligible on account of their fragmentary, disputed or obscure character.

What is an appropriate use of such sources, and how do we determine their status in order to justify their use? These crucial questions are relevant not only to the history of ancient philosophy, where scholars are notoriously confronted with fragments, quotes of uncertain origins, glosses, annotations, etc., but also to the history of modern and contemporary thought, where a great variety of sources (such as epistles, diverging editions of the same text, aphorisms, student notes, etc.) pose particular problems for the historian. During the course, we will discuss case studies and methods which can help us deal with this kind of texts.

As a graduate researcher in philosophy, have you encountered, or are you encountering such problems? Have you made headway in developing techniques to address them? Would you like to gather contributions on a specific textual problem?

All Research Master and PhD students in the History of Philosophy are invited to participate in this event. You are also very welcome to volunteer for a presentation during one of the student sessions. To do so, send us a proposal (max. 300 words) in which you specify a small number of texts you will be addressing and will require attendees to familiarise themselves with, as well as a formulation of the specific problem you wish to address during the session.

Aim / objective

This OZSW course will provide an environment for the investigation of such problems and aim to contribute methodological tools and experience to graduate researchers in the history of philosophy. While this course is primarily tailored to those working in the History of Philosophy, those whose interests are not mainly in the History of Philosophy are also very welcome to participate.


The course will take place over two days, with interventions from two international keynote speakers, two case studies, and six plenary student-led sessions. 

Key note speakers

  • Delphine Antoine-Mahut, École Normale Supérieure de Lyon
  • Francesca Schironi, University of Michigan


Free for OZSW members. Other participants pay a fee of €75,-.

How to apply / register

Please register using this registration form. The registration deadline is 25 September.


This course is coordinated by the History of Philosophy section of the OZSW. For further information, please contact Frank Chouraqui at the following e-mail address: f.chouraqui@phil.leidenuniv.nlFor practical inquiries, please contact secretariaat@ozsw.nl.