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Last updated: July 2017
© Journal of the History of Philosophy, Inc.
Masters Classes in the History of Philosophy
Sponsored by The Journal of the History of Philosophy

Mindful of the challenges facing young scholars working in the history of philosophy, the Board of Directors of the Journal of the History of Philosophy has established a program of Master Classes in the History of Philosophy. The central idea of the program is that a senior scholar who works primarily in some area of the history of philosophy would undertake to direct an intensive week of master classes for the benefit of a small group of recent Ph.D.’s whose main research and teaching are in the relevant area. Normally, the classes will focus on one or more texts that are typically not part of material that the participants would have studied as graduate students. The goal of the program is the enhancement of the expertise and understanding of the young scholars in their area of specialization.

The JHP will select up to six individuals from among those who apply to participate in five days of intense classes on the announced subject. All travel and housing and food for the duration of the classes will be paid by JHP up to $1750. 

2018 Classes

Dates: June 25–29, 2018

Topic: Lady Mary Shepherd: Causation, Perception, and Knowledge of the External World 

Instructor: Don Garrett (New York University) 

Course Description:

Lady Mary Shepherd, described by William Whewell as “an unanswerable logician,” was well known among early nineteenth-century British philosophers for her metaphysics and epistemology. Yet it is only in the last two decades that her works have begun to receive serious attention from historians of philosophy. Her most important writings are two books (both available in reprint editions): An Essay upon the Relation of Cause and Effect, Controverting the Doctrine of Mr. Hume, concerning the Nature of that Relation; with Observations upon the Opinions of Dr. Brown and Mr. Lawrence, Connected with the Same Subject (1824); and Essays on the Perception of an External Universe, and Other Subjects Connected with the Doctrine of Causation (1827). Although much of her writing is explicitly directed against such figures as David Hume, Thomas Brown, George Berkeley, Thomas Reid, and Dugald Stewart, it is by no means merely critical. On the contrary, she both develops and applies fascinating and highly original theories of causation, causal reasoning, sense perception, and knowledge of external objects. This course will focus on interpreting, analyzing, and evaluating both the critical and the constructive elements of these two books in the context of the philosophical controversies to which they were—and are—contributions.

Application: Applicants should send a letter of interest along with a CV to Prof. Lloyd P. Gerson (lloyd.gerson@utoronto.ca).

Qualifications: Ph.D. in philosophy received no earlier than January 1, 2013 and no later than January 1, 2018. AOS: Early Modern Philosophy.

Deadline for submission: Applications must be received no later than November 15, 2017.  Applicants will be notified by January 1, 2018 of those selected to participate.