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On What There Was (OWTW)


OWTW Motive

OWTW: Conceptions of Being 500-1650

What is a thing? Anything we can think about? But, if so, what about nothing, falsity, fictional and impossible beings? Are they also things or rather something else? In short, what kinds of entities are there at all?

OWTW is a series of 15 volumes, aiming to reveal core ontological debates fought out in the Arabic-Islamic, Hebrew-Jewish, and Latin-Christian traditions between approximately 500 and 1650.


General Aims

In this series we aim to reveal how, from the schools of the late ancient Greek world there emerged in the three main philosophical traditions of the Western Middle Ages – the Arabic, Hebrew, and Latin – key ontological discussions which contributed decisively to the formation of modern Western thought. Our main focus will be on the period stretching from Boethius (d. c. 525) to the Spanish neo-Scholasticism in the West and Mulla Sadra and the school of Isfahan in the East (c. 1650). The scope and focus of our series will fill in a gap in existing scholarship; there is no comprehensive book series, aimed at the research scholar and covering ontological themes, which concerns the three cultural traditions and treats the time span indicated. Each volume will be dedicated to a fundamental ontological topic and will explore its themes against the background of different political and theological contexts. Our method will combine an interest in the historical background to philosophizing with in-depth investigation of the positions and arguments in the various texts; many of these texts have never been the objects of detailed study. Therefore, each volume will additionally contain a selection of the most important source texts in the original language as well as in English translation. Individual volumes will be of a reasonable length (c. 120,000 words), not prohibitively expensive (around $ 45), and distributed by Brepols; the time frame for the entire enterprise is 10-15 years.



Since we will cover areas about which little work has been done, our series will contain a good deal of new analysis and interpretation. Furthermore and as mentioned above, we are aiming at both a comprehensive and a research- oriented treatment of the topics integrated into the series. We shall, however, present our material in such a way as to make it accessible to readers with a general philosophical or philosophico-historical background. We would, therefore, envisage our readership primarily as specialists, research students and advanced undergraduates in medieval philosophy, although the series should also appeal to those working in the history of philosophy generally, Islamic studies, Jewish studies, and medieval intellectual history.





« November 2017 »




Postal Address

Philosophisches Seminar
Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Platz der Universität 3
79085 Freiburg im Breisgau


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