CFA: Getting Medieval on the Internal Senses

April 19, 2024 - April 20, 2024
Department of Philosophy, Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca

Mihail Kogalniceanu nr.1
Cluj-Napoca 400347


  • PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2021-1443


Universita' degli Studi di Pavia
Humboldt-University, Berlin
University of Helsinki
University of Jyväskylä
University of Jyväskylä


Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


Topic: The internal senses play a central part in the medieval theories of cognition. They account for bringing together the information from the external senses, storing or reshaping it, apprehending whether what is sensed is dangerous or pleasant, cognizing and recognizing it as an individual, and again storing the information involved in all these acts. Given this part they play, the internal senses have been the subject matter of considerable debates during the Middle Ages, and consequently have not been neglected by the historians of philosophy.

However, the internal senses can account for much more than the mentioned acts. Belonging to the sensitive soul, the internal senses are mostly common to humans and animals. Their number or functioning, independent of or dependent on the intellect, settles or breaks the commonality with animals. From a different angle, the internal senses are meant to bridge the gap between the external senses and the intellect. In doing so, they provide the intellect with content for thought. They are responsible for the interaction between the body and the intellect, the causal influence the body can have on the intellect and the unity of the human soul. Thus, they also contribute to bodily awareness, the sense of the self, and the individuation of thoughts.

Such issues have been tackled by scholars in the past years. It is what makes the internal senses a hot topic. Our intention nevertheless is to increase the temperature. We want to make the internal senses an even hotter topic. There are still medieval texts that have not been taken into consideration in the past years’ outputs or that deserve a closer examination; there are issues that have not been taken into consideration or that deserve a closer examination. We thus invite papers on subjects that include but are not limited to:

  • the differences and similarities between animal and human perception
  • the role of images in perception
  • the role of the body in perception
  • the access to non-sensible intentions
  • the distinction between estimation and cogitation
  • awareness and self-awareness in perception
  • self and memory
  • the intentionality of internal senses
  • the link between the sensitive and the intellective soul
  • the causal influence of the body on the soul
  • the unity of the human soul.


Submission guidelines: The abstracts, each around 500 words, specifying the thesis of the paper and its main arguments, should be sent to [email protected] with the subject heading ‘Internal Senses’. In advance, they also should be prepared for blind review, so please include your name and affiliation only in the body of the email.


Key dates: (1) submission deadline: 20th of February 2024; (2) notification of acceptance: by the 29th of February 2024.


Publication: The papers will be submitted for publication in a journal special issue or a collected volume. This is why they should not have been published already or submitted elsewhere.

Funding: There is no participation fee. On the contrary, we can cover accommodation expenses for the duration of the conference.

The conference is organised by the 4OXEN team: Elena Băltuță, Andrei Bereschi, Lavinia Grijac, and Sergiu Sava.

For other information, get in touch with Sergiu Sava: [email protected]

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




April 18, 2024, 9:00am EET

Who is attending?

1 person is attending:


See all

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.