At present, all Philosophy Research Network (PRN) journals are managed by the network's co-directors, Lawrence Becker and Brie Gertler.


"Vague Idea of Studium: Petitions and Bulls of the Portuguese University at the Beginning of the Great Schism (1377–1380)" Free Download
Higher School of Economics Research Paper No. WP BRP 153/HUM/2017

ALEKSANDR V. RUSANOV, National Research University Higher School of Economics

The article analyzes argumentation that was used by the Papal curia and the University of Lisbon in the bulls and petitions during the short period when the kingdom of Portugal supported Anti-Pope Clement VII (1380–1381). Rhetoric of observed sources includes legal concepts and images borrowed from earlier theoretical texts and academic privileges. In the Curial practice the main legal conception of medieval university, the Studium generale, could be interpreted in the different ways, as it is demonstrated by the case of the Gregory XII’s bulls addressed to the Portuguese university in 1377. In 1380 the Portuguese academic corporation expected some grants and authorization of its status in exchange for support of the Avignon Pope. But controversial formulas and concepts of Clement VII’s bull In Superne dignitatis (that de jure founded a new Studium generale in Lisbon) rather strengthen his authority in Portugal than favoured realization of proclaimed university privileges.

"The Ideological Matrix of Science: Natural Selection and Immunity as Case Studies" Free Download

AGUSTIN OSTACHUK, Universidad Nacional de La Plata (UNLP)

The modern concept of ideology was established by the liberal politician and philosopher Destutt de Tracy, with the objective of creating an all-embracing and general science of ideas, which followed the sensualist and empiricist trend initiated by Locke that culminated in the positivism of Comte. Natural selection and immunity are two key concepts in the history of biology that were strongly based on the Malthusian concept of struggle for existence. This concept wrongly assumed that population grew faster than the means of existence. This “natural? law contained implicitly the idea that the poor and least gifted would not survive. This idea led to the progressive development of the concept of natural selection, whose definitive version was given by Darwin. Mechnikov took the concepts of struggle for existence and natural selection and conceived infectious diseases as a struggle between a host and its invader, the so-called phagocytosis theory. This theory created the necessity to possess mechanisms to discriminate between the own and the foreign, and led to the conception of the immune self. These concepts were not developed from ideas coming from perceptions or sensations, but from ideas coming from their values: individual interest, inevitable inequality, property, utility and profit. Values are ideals that constitute an ideological matrix which exerts a numinous activity and influence the development of our future actions. In consequence, science and its practice cannot avoid and ignore the values that drive them and impulse them towards certain directions.


About this eJournal

The Philosophy Research Network is for papers with the content and methodology of professional philosophy. Papers posted under History of Western Philosophy will have a primary focus on topics or figures of historical interest to ongoing philosophical work. The subfields used here are Ancient (Greek; Hellenistic, Roman), Medieval and Renaissance, 17th and 18th century, 19th century, and 20th century. Papers whose primary focus is to contribute to other agendas in history, such as literary, political, social, or religious history, or to intellectual history generally, may be suited for posting under other networks in the Humanities Research Network, such as those for Classics, English, History, or Religious Studies. Papers that discuss ongoing topics in other areas of philosophy may also appear in those other categories.


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Advisory Board

History of Western Philosophy eJournal

Regents Professor of Philosophy, University of Arizona

Professor of Philosophy, ARC Federation Fellow, Director - Center for Consciousness, Australian National University

Carleton Professor of Philosophy, Colgate University

Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Philosophy, Harvard University

Commonwealth Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Law, University of Virginia

Hans Reichenbach Professor of Philosophy and William F. Vilas Research Professor, University of Wisconsin

Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University

Associate Professor of Philosophy, Cornell University