For most of the twentieth century, Anglophone philosophers and historians held that early modern philosophy was dominated by the contrast between Descartes', Spinoza's, and Leibniz's rationalism and Locke's, Berkeley's, and Hume's empiricism.
In the light of growing scepticism surrounding this narrative, the proposed research will shed light on its history. It will determine when the narrative entered into English histories of philosophy; how it came to shape the university curriculum in Great Britain and Australasia; what roles the programmes of British Idealists and American Pragmatists played in this process; and how the standard narrative was appropriated by Anglophone philosophers in the twentieth and early twenty-first century. Unfolding at the intersection between philosophy and the history of ideas, universities, and philosophical historiography, the project will shed light on how philosophy shapes its past.
The project builds on innovative research done by the Fellow, Dr Alberto Vanzo; the convergence of interests and complementarity of expertise between the Fellow and the Scientist in Charge, Prof. Tom Sorell; and the strengths of the Host Institution, the Department of Philosophy of the University of Birmingham.
The project will result in five journal articles; an online work-in-progress workshop; a symposium and associated publication; a workshop and guide for philosophy teachers in universities and high schools; and 35 blog posts. The project will catalyze long-term collaborations by promoting the constitution of an international network of scholars, with a strong European participation. The project will achieve a wide, early dissemination of results within and beyond the scholarly community, using the blog to reach out to educated laypeople and the teacher's workshop and guide to bring the teaching of early modern philosophy in line with current scholarship. Thus, the project will consolidate and expand European excellence in research and education.
Fields of science
Call for proposal
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