Vicious, Sinful, Antisocial: Workshop in Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

April 3, 2023 - April 4, 2023
Department of philosophy, University of Jyväskylä


This event is available both online and in-person


University of Jyväskylä

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The two-day research workshop aims to provide a novel perspective to the philosophical studies of pre-modern ethics and politics (1200-1500) by investigating the complex interplay between vice, sin, and the human propensity towards evil. Drawing upon an interdisciplinary approach that integrates philosophy, theology, jurisprudence, cultural and intellectual history, and gender studies, the workshop will explore these concepts within the broader context of late medieval and early Renaissance understandings of moral and political discourse.

The workshop will explore the distinctions and connections between individual acts of wickedness, habitual viciousness, and evil understood and practiced at societal and political level, while also examining the fluid and transitory relationship between the concepts of 'good' and 'bad'. The workshop will adopt a hybrid format, comprising thirteen papers that will be presented both in-person and remotely. Papers presented at the workshop will be edited and published in a collective volume. The workshop is a part of Academy of Finland research project Vicious, Antisocial, Sinful: The Social and Political Dimension of Moral Vices from Medieval to Early Modern Philosophy.

Participation is open to all upon registration. If you are interested in participating, please email Ruben Mustonen [email protected], specifying your name and whether you will be attending in person or online.


Monday 3 April

9:00-9:15 Juhana Toivanen and Zi'ang Chen: Opening words

Session 1 

9:15-10:15 Risto Saarinen (Helsinki), Ad alienos. Non-Social and Anti-Social Treatment of Others in Late Medieval and Reformation Sources

10:15-11:15 Alexander Stöpfgeshoff (Stockholm), The Fear of Social Collapse – Aquinas on What We Owe Each Other

Session 2 

11:30-12:30 Dominic Verner O. P. (Providence), Thomas Aquinas on Sins against Honor

Session 3 

13:30-14:30 Juhana Toivanen (Jyväskylä), John Buridan on Brutishness and Vice

14:30-15:30 Iacopo Costa (PSL Paris), Virginitas diabolica according to Albert the Great: A Moral Hapax at the Beginning of 13th Century

Session 4 

16:00-17:00 Simona Vucu (Toronto, via Zoom), Medieval Women on Vices and Sins

17:00-18:00 María Morrás (Barcelona & Oxford), Does Gender Recognize Virtue?: Defining Vice for Medieval and Early Modern Female

Tuesday 4 April

Session 5

9:15-10:15 Bonnie Kent (UC Irvine, via Zoom), Anger, Zeal, and Revenge: A Fourteenth-Century Debate Begun in Antiquity

10:15-11:15 Daniel Schwartz (Jerusalem), Rehabilitation of Hatred

Session 6 

11:30-12:30 Marta Celati (Pisa, via Zoom), The Portrayal of the Wicked Rebel in Fifteenth-century Italy: Sedition in Humanist Political Thought, between Vice and Crime

Session 7 

13:30-14:30 František Špinka (Munich), The Conception of Vice in Gemisthos Plethon’s Work and its Stoic Influences

14:30-15:30 Amos Edelheit (Maynooth), Florentine Perceptions of Vice, Evil, and Related Terms

Session 8 

16:00-17:00 Zi'ang Chen (Jyväskylä), Injustice, Illegality, and Lawlessness in Fourteenth-century Aristotelian Commentaries

17:00-17:30 Closing discussion

Organisers: Zi'ang Chen and Juhana Toivanen

For registration, please contact [email protected]

For more information, please contact [email protected]

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April 2, 2023, 8:00pm EET

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Custom tags:

#Finland, #Medieval, #Renaissance, #Politics, #Ethics, #Aristotle , #Plato, #Scholastic, #Vice, #Sin, #Evil