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Research seminar: The Metaphysical Foundations of Social Groups in Late Medieval Philosophy

Research
Culture and languages

Jenny Pelletier will give a talk at the History of Philosophy and Classical Philology Research Seminar on 7 April. The title is The Metaphysical Foundations of Social Groups in Late Medieval Philosophy. All interested are welcome!

Seminar
Date
7 Apr 2021
Time
15:15 - 17:00
Location
Online via Zoom, contact Christina Thomsen Thörnqvist to get the zoom link.

Participants
Jenny Pelletier, Leuven and University of Gothenburg
Good to know
Seminar language: English
Organizer
Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science
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Jenny Pelletier

In contemporary philosophy there is an animated discussion on the nature and origin - the metaphysical foundations - of social groups such as states, corporations, associations, book clubs, genders, races, etc. There is, however, exceptionally little historical analysis of the subject before the early modern period.

The purpose of my talk is to introduce my new VR-funded project, in which I plan to investigate the virtually unstudied discussions on the metaphysical foundations of social groups in the thought of selected mid-thirteenth to fourteenth-century philosophers.

By the careful historical and systematic analysis of key medieval sources from Thomas Aquinas to Nicolas Oresme, I will prove that these philosophers advanced complex theories on what social groups are and how they are built up that pre-figure later philosophers like Hobbes and Locke. While historians of ideas and political thought have thematized medieval views on the individual and society at large, the precise question of the metaphysical foundations of social groups has never been systematically treated before despite the fact that medieval innovations anticipate many of our own.