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The ICUB Humanities (formerly IRH-ICUB) is a research division of The Research Institute of the University of Bucharest. Our mission is to promote and stimulate outstanding research in the humanities. The institute encourages international projects in disciplines such as history, philology, philosophy, intellectual history and religious studies, as well as interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary projects.

The new website of the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest has been launched. Starting with 1 July 2019, this website will not be updated. 

For more details regarding the future activities of the ICUB Humanities and all the ICUB divisions, please check https://icub.unibuc.ro/

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Research Assistant position

IRH-ICUB is announcing a 4.5 months position for a student/research assistant (referent de specialitate) within the project „The emergence of mathematical physics in the context of experimental philosophy” (Principal Investigator: Dana Jalobeanu). The successful candidate will join us for the remaining months of the project, helping with the organization of the closing conference and other scientific events. She/he will take part in our weekly seminars and meetings. We are looking for a master student in philosophy, history or related fields with an interest in history of science and plans to continue her/his career with a PhD in the field of early modern studies. Knowledge of the history of philosophy/history of science of the seventeenth century is required, as well as knowledge of English and Latin.

Deadline for applications July 21, 2019. Details about the competition procedure here:

The application file should have two components:

  • a CV and a letter of motivation by email to jalobeanu@gmail.com (by July18, 2019)
  • a standard application file (containing copies of the diplomas) to be sent to the University of Bucharest, Mihail Kogalniceanu str. 34-36. For details on how to put together the application file: office@g.unibuc.ro; or tel: 0040-21-307-73-00

Ramism and its Influence on 17th Century Encyclopaedism, 8 November 2019

1569 - Ramus, Scholarum mathematicarum (ed. 1599)_006

Petrus Ramus (1515 – 1572) was one of the most influential educational reformers in history. Although his views in specific fields such as logic or mathematics are overlooked by the historians of the respective disciplines, the influence of Ramism in the 17th century is widely recognized (e.g. on Baconianism, Cartesianism, Pansophism etc.). Research in this direction was already undertaken by scholars such as Walter J. Ong or more recently Howard Hotson. However, there is still more to be said on the relation between Ramus and the early modern encyclopedists and this workshop will focus on Ramist metaphysics, physics, logic and mathematics and their respective influences in the case of figures such as Bartholomäus Keckermann, Johann Heinrich Alsted, Johann Heinrich Bisterfeld, John Amos Comenius, or János Apáczai Csere. These influence is to be addressed also considering the institutional and interdenominational contexts in which they occurred.


– Danilo Facca (Polish Academy of Sciences) – The debate on Ramism and the metaphysics of the early Schulphilosophie (Altdorf, Helmstedt, Torun)

– Stefan Hessbrügen-Walter (National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow) – Ramist Physics: an Overview

– Petr Pavlas (Czech Academy of Sciences) – “Lex secundum qvam disponuntur omnia”. Trichotomic trees in Jan Amos Comenius’s pansophical metaphysics and metaphorics

– Iovan Drehe (ICUB Humanities) – Petrus Ramus and János Apáczai Csere on logic and mathematics

Research position

ICUB Humanities is announcing a 5 months research position associated with the project „The emergence of mathematical physics in the context of experimental philosophy” (Principal Investigator: Dana Jalobeanu). The successful candidate should have a PhD in fields relevant for the project and significant publication record. Knowledge of English required, Latin and French considered an advantage. The  successful candidate is expected to publish on topics relevant for the project.

The successful candidate will join the team of the project on August 1, 2019. Deadline for applications June 21, 2019. There will be an interview, organized in July 1, 2019.

The application file should have two components:

  • a CV and a letter of motivation by email to jalobeanu@gmail.com (by June 21, 2019.)
  • a standard application file (containing copies of the diplomas) to be sent to the University of Bucharest, Mihail Kogalniceanu str. 34-36. For details on how to put together the application file: office@g.unibuc.ro; or tel: 0040-21-307-73-00

Talk: Babrak Ibrahimy (University of Derby, UK), ‘Einstimmung’ and ways of life in Wittgenstein – a political interpretation, 22 May 2019

Wednesday, 22 May 2019, 18h, Faculty of Philosophy, Titu Maiorescu Room (Splaiul Independentei 204)

Babrak Ibrahimy (University of Derby, UK), ‘Einstimmung’ and ways of life in Wittgenstein – a political interpretation

Abstract: Wittgenstein uses the terms Einstimmung (consensus) and Lebensformen (ways of life) in a peculiar way. In his own work, they are rarely used politically, and yet, for students of political theory it is hard to see how these terms can been understood apolitically. It is therefore not surprising that, while always implicitly present, recent years have seen a rise of explicit use of Wittgenstein’s work in political theory. In this paper, I want to borrow Wittgenstein’s insights and connect his view to Carl’s Schmitt’s notion of the political. On the one hand, the move is not too radical precisely because at the outset of his treatise Schmitt refers to politics as competing ways of life. On the other hand, Schmitt and Wittgenstein could not be more different. This paper does not therefore aim to synthesise the two scholars, but only to show a possible political reading of Wittgenstein’s work.

Talk organised within the Wittgenstein’s Phenomenology: Bridging the Analytic-Continental Gap seminar, in collaboration with the Department of Theoretical Philosophy.

CFP: Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science 2019, 30 October – 1 November 2019

The Emergence of Mathematical Physics in the Context of Experimental Philosophy

ICUB Humanities & Department of Theoretical Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest

October 30th – November 1st, 2019

Invited Speakers: Philip Beeley (University of Oxford), Andrew Janiak (Duke University), Sébastien Maronne (University of Toulouse), Carla Rita Palmerino (Radboud University Nijmegen), Friedrich Steinle (Technical University Berlin).

As we all know, early modern science came to the world dressed up in mathematical vestments. Much has been said about the shape and colours of these clothes. Traditional grand narratives of the “mathematization of nature” or “mechanization of the world picture” have gradually dissolved into more fine-grained and localized historiographical categories such as “forms of mathematization”, “artisanal knowledge” or “experimental practices”. However, in all these framings, questions about how natural philosophy became amenable to mathematical treatment are still central to understanding the emergence of modern science.

The eighth edition of the Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science aims to explore the diversity in methods, scopes, shapes and colours of some of the—well-known, and less well-known—projects of mathematization. It will focus, more precisely, on mathematical forms which have an experimental component. We aim to bring together scholars coming from different disciplines, thus cutting across the established divisions and traditional temporal delimitations.

We invite submissions for presentations of cca. 40 minutes on any topic related to early modern projects of mathematization (roughly speaking, 16th – 18th centuries). Please send an abstract of max. 500 words by June 10 to ovidiu.babes@icub.unibuc.ro.

The 8th edition of the Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science will be organized, jointly, by the ICUB Humanities and the Department of Theoretical Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, and will mark the end of the research grant “The emergence of mathematical physics in the context of experimental philosophy” (2017-2019).

For any additional information, please contact Ovidiu Babeș (ovidiu.babes@icub.unibuc.ro)

Isomorphism of Knowledge: Scientific Projections on 20th and 21st Century Literature, 10-11 May 2019

Cartel Final

International Conference organized by the Department of Romance Linguistics, Ibero-Romanian Languages and Literatures, Italian, Classical Philology and Modern Greek; Center of Comparative Linguistics and Cognitivism; and the Humanities division of the Research Institute of the University of Bucharest (IRH-ICUB).

Invited Speakers: Christine Baron (University of Poitiers), Amelia Gamoneda (University of Salamanca), Francisco González Fernández (University of Oviedo), Pilar Alonso (University of Salamanca).

Invited Writers: Ion Manolescu, Vicente Luis Mora, Germán Sierra

Conference Website:     https://literaturaysaberes2019.wordpress.com/

Venue: The Conference will be held at the Instituto Cervantes of Bucharest (38 Elisabeta Street) and at the Faculty of Law, University of Bucharest (36-46 Mihail Kogalniceanu Street)

Organizing Committee (University of Bucharest): Coordinators – Melania Stancu, Borja Mozo Martín; Treasurer: Oana-Dana Balaş; Secretaries: Mihai Iacob, Mihaela Ciobanu, Aura Bunoro, Paul Buzilă, Alma Marhamati

Philosophical Translations Seminar

Convenor: Grigore Vida

Every Friday, 14.00-17.00

We begin a new regular seminar at IRH–ICUB, dedicated to translations of classical texts in the history of philosophy and the sciences. The seminar aims to offer a venue and an expertise to scholars interested in philosophical translations. On the one hand, there will be meetings focused on specific translations, held by the teams actively engaged in them, where results can be presented and difficulties discussed. On the other hand, there will be open meetings, aiming to gather together more scholars and examine wider issues, like problems of philosophical translations in general, requirements of a critical edition etc. The meetings will take place at IRH–ICUB, but the teams will also organize travels to places like Noica’s hut in Păltiniș, as well as Sinaia, Buzău etc.

Current projects:

  • Francis Bacon, Novum organum (coordinated by Dana Jalobeanu). First meeting: 12 April 2019
  • The Leibniz–Clarke Correspondence (coordinated by Grigore Vida)
  • Martin Heidegger, Kants These über das Sein (coordinated by Cătălin Cioabă). Closed group

If you are interested in joining a project or proposing one, please send an email to grigore.vida@gmail.com

Talk: Daniela Castaldo (University of Salento), 8 April 2019

poster 8 aprilieMonday, 8 April, 17h

IRH-ICUB, Dimitrie Brândza 1

Echoes of Ancient Greek and Roman Music in Victorian Painting: Lawrence Alma-Tadema and Frederich Leighton

Daniela Castaldo – University of Salento (Lecce-Italy)

Subjects inspired by Greco-Roman Antiquity are among the most frequently represented in British Victorian painting. Among these, musical themes and characters offer an illuminating case-study for the reception of the ancient world in the 19th century, at the crossroads of classical tradition and new archaeological discoveries. Prof. Daniela Castaldo’s lecture will explore the musical imagery inspired by the ancient world in the paintings of Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) and Frederic Leighton (1830-1896). A closer look at their visual sources, meaning and symbolism makes possible to better understand the ‘modern’ interpretations of ancient music given by these Victorian artists.

Science Advice training for a complex World, 15 April 2019

Half-day workshop proposed by Koen Vermeir (CNRS, Global Young Academy)

15 April 2019, 09:30;

IRH-ICUB (Dimitrie Brandza 1);

Duration: 3 hours.

We are living in a period of post-science and post-truth and we can see the major consequences of this situation unfolding before our eyes. Propaganda for Brexit, for instance, has been run on a platform of misinformation and fake news, and one of the important Brexiteers, Michael Gove, has said that “people in this country have had enough of experts”. The complexity of the issues we currently face demands more input from scientists and experts, however, and speaks to the need of evidence-informed policy making. Decision makers cannot ignore experts and scientists if we want to improve society and have a chance at solving local, national and global problems. Wicked problems like climate change, migration and the dangers of AI do not have easy solutions and demand a sustained effort and collaboration between experts from different disciplines who can communicate with government experts and policy makers.

History and philosophy of science have an important role to play in this constellation of experts and policy-makers, because they are trained to make sense of science. As such, they can be an important bridge between the expert scientists, who are often focused on very specific scientific problems, and the policy makers, who struggle with broader questions about science and society. This is why ICUB and the Global Young Academy organize a training workshop in science advice for students and teachers in history and philosophy of science. After a short introduction into the field of science advice, participants will participate in informal exercises to gain practical experience in the processes and challenges of science advice. This training workshop also builds necessary skills for students in history and philosophy of science who are interested in job prospects in government and international organizations.

The workshop is free of charge but it is necessary to register because the available places are limited to 10. If you are interested in participating in this workshop, please apply by sending a short CV and a motivational statement (of 1 paragraph) to Mihnea Dobre before April 10: mihnea.dobre@filosofie.unibuc.ro

The workshop will be led by Koen Vermeir, research professor at the CNRS and the University of Paris, member of the executive committee of the Global Young Academy, and science advisor to the European Commission.