Structure of the Seminar: short presentation of previously circulated papers followed by discussions. The author will defend her/his paper against the objections of the participants.

Please email the presenter to have the paper prior to the discussion. 

Vineri, 5 decembrie 2008

      Presenter: Sorin Costreie, University of Bucharest, University of Western Ontario
      Title: Leibniz on Void and Matter

    I discuss here Leibniz’s theory of matter in connection with his explicit denial of the existence of void. The principle of the universe qua plenum has two interesting consequences on conceiving of matter. Firstly, if there is no void, then everything is full of matter and there are no ultimate atoms of the substantial world, and thus matter should be infinitely divisible. Secondly, if there is no void, then there is no action-at-the-distance and thus (Newtonian) universal gravitation is not acceptable in the framework of this system. These two points shall be discussed in detail in what follows. The discussion will be used at the end to identify the relation between metaphysics, physics and mathematics in Leibniz’s thought. 
    Email s.cos3e[at]

    Vineri, 12 decembrie 2008
    Presenter: Mihnea Dobre, University of Bucharest, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen
    Title: The Cartesian philosophy of Géraud de Cordemoy

    This paper is a historical investigation of the major work (Le Discernement du corps et de l’âme, 1666) of one of the first French Cartesians, Géraud de Cordemoy. It is a detailedanalysis of Cordemoy’s book, sustained by a more systematic discussion of the relation between metaphysics and physics in the Cartesian natural philosophy.
    Email mihneadobre[at] 

    Vineri, 23 ianuarie 2009

    Presenter: Lucian Petrescu
    Title: Birth, Embodiment and Incarnation in Descartes 

    This is a discussion on the individuation of the soul in Descartes's texts, Aquinas and late scholasticthought, looking at the natural-philosophical topics of birth and embodiment and the miracolous-theological theme of the incarnation. The grounding assumption is that ideas pertaining to natural philosophy are grounded in and decided by a broader frame of thought described by a theological metaphysics. The general scope of the research is to circumscribe the shift in the relation between metaphysics and natural philosophy from medieval Catholic thought on to the modern times.
    Email luc.petrescu[at] 

    Vineri, 30 ianuarie 2009

    Reading seminar.