Call for papers on causation and change in medieval philosophy

In May the Center for Medieval Philosophy at Georgetown University will be sponsoring a session at the International Congress on Medieval Studies in Kalamazoo with the title “From Physics to Metaphysics: Causation and Change in Medieval Philosophy.” The session organizer, Robert Matava (Christendom College), sends us the following information on the session:

This session will focus on the important but generally under-investigated connections between medieval understandings of causality (especially the causation of being as such) and natural science (especially the phenomenon of change). Is there real causation in nature, and if so, can we know it? What exactly is motion, and how is it distinct from creation? What does it mean for the creator to bring about change within the contingent order?  How can personal agency be understood within the broader context of causation in nature? Medieval philosophers had interesting things to say about such questions. The specific connections between their consideration of metaphysics and change in the physical order deserve further attention, not least because such questions as the above retain their currency in contemporary philosophy, but also because of the potential such an investigation has for unlocking our understanding of the development of empirical science during the early-modern period. 

Dr. Matava is accepting proposals for papers on the above topics. The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, September 1. Dr. Matava can be contacted by email at:

The International Congress on Medieval Studies will convene May 12-15, 2016.

Georgetown Undergraduate essay competition in medieval philosophy

In from Robert Matava, fellow at the Georgetown University Center for Medieval Philosophy, comes news of an inaugural competition for the best undergraduate essay in medieval philosophy:

Edward A. Martin Prize for Undergraduate Medieval Philosophy Paper

Prof. Mark Henninger, S.J., Director of the Center for Medieval Philosophy is pleased to announce the establishment of the Edward A. Martin Prize for the Most Outstanding Undergraduate Paper in Medieval Philosophy. The purpose of this prize is to recognize the best work currently being done in undergraduate medieval philosophy.

Criteria: A paper or honors thesis focused on western medieval philosophy from Augustine to Suarez of between 3,000 – 5,000 words, double-spaced, exclusive of bibliography or endnotes. The paper should have been written for an undergraduate course or as an honors thesis during the calendar year 2010 and must not have been published in professional fora or student journals. Papers will be judged based on their quality of research, depth of philosophic inquiry and clarity.

Prize: US$700.00 First Prize and two US$ 150.00 Honorable Mentions

Requirements for submission:

 Cover letter with the name, address, email and phone number of the student and supervising professor.

  • The paper
  • In addition to the paper, the student must submit a letter of recommendation from the supervising professor attesting to the superior quality of the work as well as its originality.
  • Deadline: January 31, 2011.
  • Cover letter, paper and letter of recommendation must be submitted together by either .pdf, .doc or .docx to the Center for Medieval Philosophy email address or by mail to: Prof. Mark Henninger, S.J., Center for Medieval Philosophy, Department of Philosophy, Georgetown University, Washington D.C., 20057. If mailed the package must be postmarked by January 31, 2011.


  • Winners will be notified on March 31, 2010.
  • For administrative purposes this inaugural year, the prize will be limited to US university students.

 For more information please go to Georgetown University’s Center for Medieval Philosophy’s website.