Historiography, Methodology, Metaphilosophy and the Canon

June 30, 2018 - July 7, 2018
Department of Philosophy, McMaster University

1280 Main Street West, Dept. of Philosophy
Hamilton L8S 4K1

Keynote speakers:

University of Victoria
York University
University of Vienna
McMaster University
Université du Québec à Montreal
University of California, Riverside
Harvard University


McMaster University
University of California, Riverside

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Historiography, Methodology, Metaphilosophy

Summer School, McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada

June 30th – July 7th, 2018

Co-Directors: Sandra Lapointe & Erich Reck


  • Margaret Cameron, University of Victoria
  • Chris Green, York University
  • Martin Kusch, University of Vienna
  • Sandra Lapointe, McMaster University
  • Chris Meyns, University of Utrecht
  • Claude Panaccio, Université du Québec à Montréal
  • Erich Reck, University of California, Riverside
  • Aviezer Tucker, Harvard University

What is distinctively philosophical about the history of philosophy, and what makes it distinct from sociology of knowledge, history of science, or intellectual history (if anything)? Does the history of philosophy (and the history of knowledge more generally) yield other types of reasoning or explanation beside reconstructions and narratives? What kinds of philosophical, sociological, and political factors seem to play a role in canon-formation? These and related questions will be the focus of the 2018 Summer School in Historiography, Methodology, and Metapilosophy. Among the topics explored will be the following: (i) historical methodology in philosophy, (ii) rational reconstruction, narrative, and alternative types of reasoning (e.g. inductive, deductive-nomological, abductive, etc.), (iii) history as a form of explanation, (iv) epistemic goals, values, and norms in history of philosophy, (v) the relationship between history of philosophy and the history of other disciplines (e.g. mathematics and psychology), (vi) the sociology of philosophy and the history of philosophy, (vii) the relationship between cognitive biases and hermeneutic limitations, (viii) canon-formation, (ix) the nature and role of ‘counter-narratives’, e.g. debunking histories or revisionary tales, and (x) the rediscovery of (non-)canonical figures.

Deadline for Application is 5 Feb 2018


The summer institute is co-organized by Sandra Lapointe and Erich Reck. It is hosted in the Department of Philosophy at McMaster University in Hamilton Canada. McMaster is home to the Bertrand Russell Archives and a guided visit of the Archives will be included on the program. It will also be possible for students to conduct personal research at the Archives before or after the summer school.

All enrolled participants will receive the following preparatory material in early June:

  1. a) a detailed schedule with a description of each seminar
  2. b) a full course packet with complementary articles for each seminar.
  3. c) a full description recommended preparatory work.

Anyone interested in obtaining credit equivalences should contact Sean Dudley directly (dudles1@mcmaster.ca)

Admission requirements

Being registered in a post-graduate program in philosophy, history, history of science or connected disciplines. In exceptional cases, advanced undergraduate students will be eligible to apply.


Holding a graduate or post-graduate degree in philosophy or connected discipline.


Working as a post-doctoral researcher or faculty in an institution of post-secondary education.


Please fill this REGISTRATION FORM


and return it to Sean Dudley (dudles1@mcmaster.ca)

 Selection procedure 

Students will be selected on the basis of (1) their overall academic merit and (2) their prior acquaintance with the topic. The summer school aims to create an environment in which participants will enrich each other’s learning experience in an inclusive and diverse context.

Students will be notified of the decision of the committee in March 2018.


Registration fees include participation in all academic activities and credit transfer, accommodation, breakfast, lunch, 2 coffee breaks, and a course packet. Students will be accommodates in single rooms in the Mary E. Keyes Residence on campus.

Tuition fees will be lower for students who register prior to 15 April 2018. The following amounts are given in Canadian dollars:

Before 15 April:

  • Graduate students and Postdoctoral researchers CAD$900
  • Faculty: CAD$1500

After 15 April

  • Graduate students and postdoctoral researchers CAD$1000
  • Faculty: CAD$1600

We are currently applying for funding. Travel and sustenance stipends may be available in limited numbers on the basis of need and academic merit. Canadian students will be favoured, but international students will also have access to funds. 

Student not requiring accommodation should be in touch about partial fee waiver..


The payment may be made by bank transfer to McMaster University. Information will be made available to those whose application is successful.

Inquiries should be directed to Sean Dudley (dudles1@mcmaster.ca)

Those attending the Workshop on Historiography of Philosophy and the Canon from 28-30 June or wishing to conduct research at the Russell Archives will have the possibility of extending their stay at the standard rate (72$/night)

Sandra Lapointe

Associate Professor 
Department of Philosophy, McMaster University

Director, Associations at the Federation of Humanities and Social Sciences/Administratrice (élue), Associations de la Fédération des Sciences Humaines

Founding President, Society for the Study of the History of Analytical Philosophy

Past President, Canadian Philosophical Association/Présidente sortante, Association Canadienne de Philosophie 


Dr. Sandra Lapointe
Department of Philosophy
McMaster University
University Hall 310A
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario, L8S 4K1
Tel: 905-525-9140, ext. 24312


McMaster University recognizes and acknowledges that it is located on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish With One Spoon” wampum agreement.

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February 5, 2018, 11:45pm EST

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