OZSW Keynote Presentation Autumn Course with Delphine Antoine-Mahut
- Saturday 7 October 2017
2311 VJ Leiden
The OZSW kindly invites you to the keynote presentation by our international guest speaker at our upcoming Autumn Course Uncommon Notions: Fragments, Obscurities, Authority at Leiden University. This talk will address problems arising from the use of sources.
Admission to this lecture is free of charge.
Delphine Antoine-Mahut (Ecole Normale Supérieure de Lyon)
History of Philosophical Histories. Towards a Theory of Possible Histories of Philosophical Texts.
One could double down on Quine’s famous quip against the philosophical ambition of the history of philosophy by saying that « There are two sorts of people interested in history of philosophy: those interested in history of philosophy and those interested in the receptions or in the actualizations of the texts studied by historians of philosophy. » For it is true that by claiming that an internalist and contextualist method can offer some « direct access » to the objective meaning of the text under study, the « typical » historian of philosophy is led to dismiss as literary fiction or mere intellectual history the study of the multiple interpretations to which said text has been subjected, in some cases in conflict with the very « intentions » of their author. Via a study of Descartes’ treatise De L’Homme, we wish to propose another approach, which is concerned with avoiding both the illusion of transparency and the pitfall of relativism. This approach intends to incorporate within our practice as historians of philosophy the diversity of histories made possible by the original text, including cases in which such histories have been foreclosed by the author’s own narrative about the meaning intended by their own text. What we glimpse there is not only the means to revitalise our practice, but against Quine, the guarantee that this practice will retain its fully philosophical import.