12th Edition

Organized by the Research Centre for the Foundations of Modern Thought (FME), University of Bucharest, in collaboration with the Philosophy Department at Princeton

29 June – 4 July 2012
Bran, Romania




The early modern period was an era of intellectual ferment, old ideas against new, and new ideas against new. Many of the disagreements were over substantive matters: are there indivisible atoms? is there a vacuum? is there anything in the world over and above body? But much of the disagreement was over matters of method and epistemology: what the proper goal of inquiry is and how it should be conducted. Some, like Descartes, favored a newly retooled version of Aristotelian scientia. Others, like Bacon, saw historia as fundamental. Others, like Galileo, Huygens, and later Newton saw mathematics as central. Others, like the members of the Royal Society of London saw the future in the experimental philosophy. Others focused on notions like sapientia or religio. These debates led to lively exchanges, in letters, in documents like the Objections and Replies to Descartes’ Meditations, in pamphlet wars, and eventually in journal articles. This is the theme of this year’s Bucharest-Princeton seminar: the lively world of disputation over the aims, goals, and methods of inquiry in philosophy and science taken broadly, investigated through the correspondence, debates, objections and replies that animated the intellectual scene of early modern Europe.


The Bucharest-Princeton Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy isan international annual meeting of scholars interested in variousaspects of early modern thought. The aim of the seminar is to create astimulating environment for discussing papers and ideas. It includesworkshops in the morning and presentations of papers in the afternoon, where participants can present work in progress. While the morning sessions will focus on the theme of “The Battle for Scientia,” the afternoon sessions seek to give participants an opportunity to discuss their own special interests with an open and sympathetic audience of students and scholars with broad interests in early modern thought. Throughout we try to maintain a balance between the high scholarly level and theinformal friendly spirit of a colloquium.


The Seminar will take place in Bran, a mountain small resort near Brasov, inTransylvania. It will be hosted in a small, friendly Bed and Breakfast(single or double rooms). The participation fee is 150 EUR for facultyand 70 EUR for students (covering accommodation with breakfast). Weinvite applications for contributions (from researchers) and forattendance (from students). If you want to contribute a paper, please send a CV and a one-page abstract, and if you want to attend, a CV and aletter of intent –by April 27 – to Dana Jalobeanu (dana.jalobeanu@celfis.ro),VladAlexandrescu(valexandrescu@gmail.com), and Daniel Garber (dgarber@princeton.edu).