CFP: The Tree of Knowledge

The Tree of Knowledge: Theories of Sciences and Arts in Central Europe, 1400-1700

28-29 May 2015, University of Warsaw

We invite submissions for papers to be given at the forthcoming seminar on theories of knowledge in late medieval and early modern Central European sources. The seminar is open to all scholars working in the field of early modern intellectual history, or related disciplines such as history of philosophy or theology, but contributions from younger scholars (doctoral candidates and post-doctoral fellows) are particularly invited. It seeks to investigate the way in which new currents of reflection on epistemology, the structure of knowledge, and the relations between arts and sciences impacted the intellectual culture of Central Europe on a variety of different levels: from philosophy of knowledge and theoretical reflection, through pedagogical organisation and methodology – the reform of schools and universities, to the wider dissemination of knowledge through print, and the fostering of national and international intellectual networks. A particular focus will be on Ramism and the reception of Ramist, pre-Ramist and post-Ramist models in diverse intellectual and religious milieus of Central Europe. In this way the seminar aims to place Ramism (broadly understood) in a wider intellectual trajectory, stretching back to the Middle Ages and Renaissance and looking forward to the Enlightenment and Scientific Revolution.

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • The medieval and Renaissance roots of Ramist method and pedagogy.
  • The metaphysical and anti-metaphysical dimensions of Ramism.
  • The development of Ramism and its relation to competing Aristotelian, Lullist, Baconian and Comenian methodologies.
  • Central European readers of Ramist, Lullist and related sources.
  • New models of knowledge and their relation to the new natural sciences.
  • Ramism, the confessionalisation of knowledge and ‘universal reformation’.
  • The impact of new models of knowledge on the teaching of particular arts in Central Europe.
  • Students’ notes as a source of knowledge on pedagogical practice.
  • New models of knowledge and publishing in early modern Central Europe.
  • The relation of Central European intellectual developments to those elsewhere in Europe or the New World.

Proposals should be sent to the following address: Abstracts for papers of 20 minutes should be between 250 and 350 words in length. All applicants are also required to submit a brief biography of 200 words or less. The deadline for paper proposals is 31st March 2015. The organisers reserve the right to select up to 20 papers. All applicants will be informed about the results of the selection process in the first week of April. All participants will be invited to submit a draft version of their papers to the organisers before the seminar in order to enable the circulation of manuscripts among the participants before the seminar. The conference fee is € 50 and will partially cover the costs of organisation.

Submissions Due: 31 March 2015

For more information, please see the conference website.


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  • #ISIH2021 Conference

    #ISIH2021 Conference

    #ISIH2021 6 – 8 September 2021, to be held online. Click here for the newly released CFP!