Summer school 2013 – Beauty & Truth in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

Summer school of the EGSAMP-Network, supported by the OZSW
August 21-23, 2013, at VU University Amsterdam

About the topic

Beauty and truth are traditionally closely linked and often even considered convertible. The nature of their relation, however, is far from clear. Recently, scholars in the field of ancient and medieval philosophy have opened various debates to clarify the origins and nature of the relation between these two philosophical concepts. For example, scholars have recently argued on the basis of the Platonic tradition, that beauty equals truth in the various aspects of knowledge and science. Now, are beauty and truth really convertible? In medieval philosophy, the status of the concept of beauty as a transcendental notion is the topic of a lively debate. The notion of beauty, as one of the general modes consequent upon being, seems to provide a synthesis of truth and goodness, which, according to some scholars, concludes the doctrine of the transcendentals. Others, who deny that beauty is such a general mode, still acknowledge the intimate relation between beauty, goodness, and truth. In all these debates, the philosophical discussion of beauty and truth is clearly not restricted to aesthetics or logic; the notions are understood in a realist framework and discussed as basic concepts of metaphysics. In the present summer school, questions on truth and beauty, being and goodness, on aesthetics, morality, logic, epistemology, and metaphysics are discussed by an international community of both PhD candidates and senior scholars in the field of ancient and medieval philosophy.

Target group & set-up

The EGSAMP summer school presents the work done on ancient and medieval philosophy of its members in the Rhineland, i.e. at VU University Amsterdam, the universities of Leiden and Nijmegen, the university of Louvain, and the university of Cologne. Furthermore, the summer school provides a podium for PhD-candidates to present their projects to an audience of senior scholars and profit from scholarly advice given in a friendly climate – a successful format, as the EGSAMP summer schools in recent years have demonstrated. A special section shall be devoted to the presentation of projects by research master-students from the historical section of the Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW). Thus, the EGSAMP summer school 2013 will give young scholars from universities across Europe the opportunity to present their work, often for the first time, to the international community. The summer school 2013 is open for Research Master students, PhD-candidates and senior scholars of the Dutch research school for philosophy (OZSW).

Preliminary program

Wednesday, August 21st:

  • 13.00-14.00: Arrival
  • 14.00-14.30: Opening: Wouter Goris & Marije Martijn
  • 14.30-15.30: Lecture Rudi te Velde: “The Synthesis of Truth and Goodness – On Beauty as a Transcendental Concept in Thomas Aquinas
  • 15.30-16.00: Break
  • 16.00-18.00: First Session of PhD- and Broader Project-Presentations

Thursday, August 22nd:

  • 09.00-10.30: Ancient & Medieval Philosophy in Louvain (Gert Van Riel, Jan Opsomer, Russ Friedman, Andrea Robiglio)
  • 10.30-11.00: Break
  • 11.00-12.30 Ancient & Medieval Philosophy in Leiden/Nijmegen (Frans de Haas, Bert van den Berg, Bert Bos, Paul Bakker)
  • 12.30-14.00: Lunch
  • 14.00-15.30: Second Session of PhD- and Broader Project-Presentations
  • 15.30-16.00: Break
  • 16.00-18.00: Third Session of PhD- and Broader Project-Presentations

Friday, August 23rd:

  • 09.00-10.30: Ancient & Medieval Philosophy in Cologne (Christoph Helmig, Andreas Speer, David Wirmer)
  • 10.30-11.00: Break
  • 11.00-12.30: Ancient &d Medieval Philosophy in Amsterdam (Marije Martijn, Olga Lizzini, Wouter Goris)
  • 12.30-14.00: Lunch
  • 14.00-15.30: Session of Research Master Project-Presentations
  • 15.30-16.00: Break
  • 16.00-18.00: Round Table Discussion: “EGSAMP – The Future of the Network”

How to apply

Please send an e-mail to with:

  • your contact details (email address, telephone number and postal address)
  • a brief description of your academic background (previous education, etc. with a max. of 300 words)
  • a brief description of your PhD project (max. 500 words)

If your application is accepted, your contact information and the description of your research project will be included in the reader for the Summer School. When the number of applications exceeds the number of places available, we will make a selection on the basis of the relevance of the topic for the student’s dissertation. You will be notified within two weeks after the deadline for application whether your application to the summer school has been accepted.

Deadline for application: July 1st, 2013


As this is a short and intensive course, active participation by the students is required. Participants are expected to study the reader containing the articles that have been selected for the course in advance. All participants will give a presentation on (part of) their PhD project.

Practical information / costs

The Summer School begins on Wednesday, August 21, and ends on Friday, August 23. The summer school is sponsored by the “Dutch school for research in philosophy” (OZSW), which will cover part of the costs for participation of all the participants. Participants pay a contribution of 100 euro. PhD-students of the EGSAMP network, of the former “Netherlands School for Research in Practical Philosophy” (OZSE) or the new “Dutch school for research in philosophy” (OZSW) pay the reduced price of 50 euro. All participants will be required to make their own travel arrangements, no hotel reservations are included.

Organizers / more information

This summer school is sponsored by the OZSW, but an initiative of the European Graduate School for Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (EGSAMP). The EGSAMP is a network of research institutions from nineteen European universities which have established a platform for a lasting collaboration in the field of ancient and medieval philosophy. The primary objective of the EGSAMP is the promotion of doctoral research and of young researchers. It aims (1) at the facilitation of studying, researching and teaching in the partner institutions, (2) at the exchange of knowledge and offered courses and (3) at the organisation of joint educational activities, workshops and research projects. Thus it expects to form a dynamic and growing community of scholars and to strengthen and to develop further a type of research into ancient, medieval, and renaissance philosophy that creatively combines historical and systematic perspectives.

Organizer of the summer school are prof. Wouter Goris and Dr. Marije Martijn, VU Amsterdam. For further information related to the contents of this summer school, please contact prof. Goris at the following email addresses: