Summer School 2021: In and Out - Questioning the Philosophical Canon

June 28, 2021 - June 30, 2021
Institute of Philosophy, Zagreb

Institute of Philosophy, Ulica grada Vukovara 54
Zagreb HR-10000



Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk



The question of authority in philosophy, that is, the question of which past philosophers are worth studying and being taught is as old as philosophy itself. However, from the late 1960s, in philosophy, like in art history and literary criticism, we can witness the emergence of ever-louder voices requiring a more systematic justification of the philosophical canon. Even the term itself is relatively rarely used before the 1980s. It started circulating as a reference to those philosophers and their works which are generally regarded as fundamental in the study of philosophy, roughly from Socrates to Wittgenstein, and has become useful as a common name for the object of controversy.

The philosophical canon has been challenged from various standpoints and with various scopes. “Analytic” philosophy would give prominence to some philosophers who would, in turn, be neglected by the philosophers in the so-called “continental” tradition (e. g. Hume and Frege). However, philosophers from both camps could agree on the fundamental importance of many others (e. g. Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, etc.). There are also partial attacks on the philosophical canon coming from Marxism. A different kind of attacks on the canon come from critical race theory and feminism: the canon is accused of being racist, narrow-minded, sexist, and xenophobic, consisting of exclusively “dead, white, European males”. Some proponents of these theories require at least an augmentation of the canon. On the other hand, some require a more radical revision, such as replacing the male-only canon with a women-only canon.

The aim of this year’s summer school is to cover multiple topics regarding the philosophical canon. On the one hand, we will explore the philosophical and historical processes that led to the development of the philosophical canon and investigate different aspects of theoretical attacks on and defenses of it. On the other hand, we will tackle some more particular questions. Is questioning the canon a sign of a crisis? Who and why should be included in or excluded from the canon? Is there a need for a canon? These topics will be addressed from both historical and philosophical perspective.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Summer School will be held in a distance learning format and all courses will be delivered through the MS Teams platform.


Monday, June 28

09.30-10.00 Registration

10.00-13.00 Course 1
Ruth Hagengruber: Fighting Philofolly! Rewriting the History of Philosophy

13.00-16.00 Break

16.00-19.00 Course 2
Peter Adamson: A global philosophy without any gaps

Tuesday, June 29

10.00-13.00 Course 3
Martino Rossi Monti: The canon wars and the decline of the West

13.00-15.00 Break

15.00-18.00 Course 4
Mary Ellen Waithe: Sex, Lies and Bigotry: The History of Philosophy

Wednesday, June 30

10.00-13.00 Course 5
Boris Kožnjak: ‘First they take Manhattan, then they take Berlin’: cancel culture in philosophy and science

13.00-15.00 Break

15.00-18.00 Course 6
Iris Vidmar Jovanović: Philosophical Canon and the Truth: Challenges from The No-Progress View Of Philosophy

18.00-18.30 Break

18.30-20.00 Closing Lecture
Luka Boršić: Is homo unius libri a philosopher? An example of Maria Gondola

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




May 31, 2021, 9:00am CET

External Site

Who is attending?

No one has said they will attend yet.

1 person may be attending:

University of Klagenfurt

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.