History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis

Calls for Papers

Call 1: The Facts Behind the Formulae: Revisionary Metaphysics in the Middle Ages

Guest Editors: Stephan Schmid (U Hamburg) and Sonja Schierbaum (U Würzburg)

A large part of Medieval philosophy counts as Aristotelian. It is undeniable that medieval philosophers of the tradition for which Aristotle was simply “the Philosopher” and figured as the central authority were deeply influenced by Aristotle’s thought. At the same time, these ‘Aristotelian’ philosophers often had huge disagreements as to how central Aristotelian claims - the formulae on whose truth everyone agreed - are to be understood. In fact, many philosophers spelled out these formulae in surprisingly different ways. In the name of Aristotle then, many of these philosophers came to endorse metaphysical theories, which Aristotle would probably not have recognized as his own. A telling case in point is the claim that material substances are composed of matter and form. While virtually all medieval philosophers of the Aristotelian tradition accepted this claim, there was a lively debate about what it amounts to, that is, what matter and form really are and how they make up a substance. And some of the suggestions made in this debate seem to be far apart from positions of the descriptive metaphysics often associated with Aristotle. Another example is the claim that acts of will are contingent, not necessary, which was widely defended by voluntarists in debates of freedom of will. While this claim was typically spelled out in reference to Aristotle’s concept of a self-mover, it is questionable whether the metaphysics underlying the voluntarist conception of contingent acts of the will can be found in Aristotle.

For this special issue of History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis (26.1) we are looking for articles (of 10k words in total) that seek to go beyond the widely shared Aristotelian language of medieval philosophers of the Arabic, Hebrew and Latin tradition and reveal what these philosophers really thought the world to be like and why they did so.

Deadline of submissions: April 23, 2022

Papers should be submitted via Editorial Manager here.

Please direct any questions to the guest editors at

stephan (dot) schmid (at) uni-hamburg (dot) de
sonja (dot) schierbaum (at) uni-wuerzburg (dot) de