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Workshop on Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages

October 21 - October 22

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N.B. Workshop postponed until October 2020, WHEN IT WILL TAKE PLACE WHOLLY ONLINE. Watch for more information!

Giorgione, Three Philosophers

Paradoxes seized the attention of logicians in the middle ages, and were used both as tests for the viability of theories of logic, language, epistemology, and possibly every philosophical issue, and also in the specific genre of insolubles as needing a theoretical solution, usually involving issues about signification, truth, knowledge and modality. Numerous theories were developed, not only in the Latin West, but also in the Islamic world and in the Byzantine tradition. Some of these theories are well known, others barely investigated, if at all. This workshop is an opportunity to discuss and contrast a range of these theories and consider their advantages and drawbacks, and their relation to more recent theories of paradox and antinomy. It will also be an occasion to hear and discuss what has been achieved locally in the Leverhulme-funded project ‘Theories of Paradox in Fourteenth-Century Logic: Edition and Translation of Key Texts‘.


  • Jennifer Ashworth (Professor Emerita, University of Waterloo, Canada)
    ‘Giving words a new meaning: Ralph Strode on the problem of impositio in obligational disputations’
  • Barbara Bartocci (Research Fellow, Arché Research Centre)
    ‘John Dumbleton on signification and semantic paradoxes’
  • Harald Berger (Associate Professor, Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz, Austria)
    ‘An unknown version of Albert of Saxony’s De insolubilibus (= Logica, tr. VI, pt. 1)’
  • Manuel Dahlquist (Associate Professor, Universidad Nacional Del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina)
    ‘Nulla propositio est negativa’
  • Miroslav Hanke (Research Fellow, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic)
    Tractatus insolubilium and fifteenth-century Cologne scholasticism’ (by video link)
  • Stephen Read (Professor Emeritus, Arché Research Centre)
    ‘Theories of paradox from Thomas Bradwardine to Paul of Venice’
    ‘Insolubles and validity in Roger Swyneshed and Paul of Venice’
  • David Sanson (Associate Professor, Illinois State University)
    ‘Al-Dawānī on truth, grounding, and the Liar’
  • Mohammad Saleh Zarepour (Humboldt Postdoctoral Researcher, LMU Munich)
    ‘Abharī’s Solution to the Liar paradox: a logical analysis’


Registration is free but required for attendance. Registration will re-open in August 2020.


Through the generosity of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, and in order to guarantee a demographically diverse participation we are able to offer financial assistance with childcare during the Workshop. Please email Dr Barbara Bartocci (bb66@st-andrews.ac.uk) with details of the childcare needed.

We are grateful to the University of St Andrews, via the Arché Research Centre, to the British Society for the History of Philosophy, and to the Scots Philosophical Association for financial support.

Scots Philosophical Association


October 21
October 22


A virtual workshop by Zoom
The University
St Andrews, KY16 9L United Kingdom


Stephen Read
Barbara Bartocci