Expert on medieval philosophy Alain de Libera awarded a CAS medal for merit
19. 04. 2023
He refers to his approach to research as philosophical archaeology. Alain de Libera, French writer and, above all, world-renowned expert on medieval philosophy, received the Josef Dobrovský Honorary Medal for Merit in the Philological and Philosophical Sciences, awarded by the CAS, on 19 April 2023. The academic is staying in the Czech Republic for several days during which he delivered two lectures.
Alain de Libera’s main research interests include medieval logic, metaphysics, epistemology, and philosophical theology. In these areas, he mainly focuses on how people in the Latin Middle Ages perceived ancient and Arabic philosophy. He is also interested in the phenomena of the transmission of philosophical knowledge and the transfer of learning.
Prof. Alain de Libera at the award ceremony, Czech Academy of Sciences.
In recent years, the scholar has sought to interconnect historical–philosophical research with contemporary philosophy and to uncover the origins of various concepts and phenomena in contemporary philosophical thought by means of what he calls the approach of philosophical archaeology. De Libera is a laureate of several awards as well as a professor emeritus at the Collège de France, considered to be France’s most prestigious research institution.
He was nominated for the Josef Dobrovský Honorary Medal for Merit in the Philological and Philosophical Sciences by the Institute of Philosophy of the CAS for his long-standing contribution to the world of medieval philosophy scholarship. Alain de Libera’s connection to the Czech Republic is illustrated, for instance, by his cooperation with the Prague-based CEFRES – the French Research Center in Humanities and Social Sciences.
Prof. Alain de Libera (with the J. Dobrovský honorary medal for merit) and President of the CAS, Prof. Eva Zažímalová.
A visit to Prague with two lectures
Alain de Libera presented two subjects of his research interests during his visit to Prague over several days. At the Faculty of Arts of Charles University, he delivered a lecture entitled “The Archaeology of the ‘No!’: Nihilism, Neminism, and Anarchism from the Middle Ages to Modernity”. In his talk, Professor de Libera reconstructed the long journey of the concept of nihilism, starting with the medieval sect worshiping the cult of Nemo through the work of the German theologian Friedrich Lebrecht Goetze to the modern concept of nihilism spearheaded by Friedrich Nietzsche. The lecture was held on 18 April 2023 at 5 PM at the Faculty of Arts at Charles University.
Alain de Libera's lecture “After the Modernists (Heidegger, Foucault): Rewriting the History of Medieval Philosophy”.
On 19 April 2023, following the award ceremony, Alain de Libera delivered a lecture entitled “After the Modernists (Heidegger, Foucault): Rewriting the History of Medieval Philosophy” at the Czech Academy of Sciences on Národní Street in Prague at 12:30 PM (Room 206). The focus was the reflection of medieval thought that was influenced by modern philosophers. Although their works marginalised or did not deal with medieval thought at all, they played a central role in the development of the history of medieval philosophy as a discipline in the second half of the twentieth century by way of the “linguistic” and “cognitive” turn in the liberal arts. Alain de Libera thus followed up on the issue of ‘rewriting history’, which he discussed in his seminal lecture at the Collège de France in February 2014. Its Czech translation has recently been published by Filosofia under the title Quo vadis, medieval philosophy?
Prepared by: Press Department, Division of External Relations, CAO of the CAS
Photo: Josef Landergott and Jana Plavec, Division of External Relations, CAO of the CAS
The text and photographs are released for use under the Creative Commons licence.
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The Czech Academy of Sciences (the CAS)
The mission of the CAS
The primary mission of the CAS is to conduct research in a broad spectrum of natural, technical and social sciences as well as humanities. This research aims to advance progress of scientific knowledge at the international level, considering, however, the specific needs of the Czech society and the national culture.
President of the CAS
Prof. Eva Zažímalová has started her second term of office in May 2021. She is a respected scientist, and a Professor of Plant Anatomy and Physiology.
She is also a part of GCSA of the EU.