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Workshop on Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages

October 21 - October 23

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N.B. The Workshop will now take place wholly online.

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‘.


The workshop will be held using Zoom software. It will run from 14.00 – 19.00 BST (British Summer Time = GMT+1) on 21 and 22 October 2020, and from 14.00 – 16.30 BST on 23 October.


Registration is free but required for attendance. To register, please email Dr Barbara Bartocci (bb66@st-andrews.ac.uk) with your Full Name, email address, affiliation and whether you are a student.

Provisional Programme

Wednesday 21 October Thursday 22 October Friday 23 October
14.00-15.00 Stephen Read (Arché Research Centre): ‘Theories of paradox from Thomas Bradwardine to Paul of Venice’ Alessandro Conti (Università L’Aquila): ‘Wyclif and Paul of Venice on the Liar’s Paradox: a Comparison’ Barbara Bartocci (Arché Research Centre): ‘John Dumbleton on signification and semantic paradoxes’
15.15-16.15 Harald Berger (Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz): ‘An unknown version of Albert of Saxony’s De insolubilibus (= Logica, tr.VI, pt.1)’ Miroslav Hanke (Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic): Tractatus insolubilium and fifteenth-century Cologne scholasticism’ Stephen Read: ‘Walter Segrave on insolubles: a restrictivist response to Bradwardine’
16.30-17.30 Manuel Dahlquist (Universidad Nacional Del Litoral): ‘Nulla propositio est negativa’ Graziana Ciola (University of Nijmegen): ‘Marsilius of Inghen on insolubles’
17.45-18.45 David Sanson (Illinois State University): ‘Al-Dawānī on truth, grounding, and the Liar’ Mohammad Saleh Zarepour (LMU Munich): ‘Abharī’s Solution to the Liar paradox: a logical analysis’


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 23


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


Stephen Read
Barbara Bartocci