Louvain 2022

Call for Abstracts

From Toledo to Gotha:
New Perspectives on the Impact of Avicenna upon Sciences and Philosophy in Europe

Louvain, 14-15 October 2022

Avicenna’s contributions have been pivotal for the development of knowledge in pre-modern Europe. Since the 12th century, his philosophical works had been made available in Latin and used to investigate metaphysical and natural problems, better understand Aristotle’s sometimes obscure doctrines, assimilate the reflections of thinkers like Alexander of Aphrodisias, but also to train generations of physicians to treat illnesses and grasp the fundamentals of embryology and the fabric of the human body. By focusing on the multilayered transfer of Avicenna’s theories to the Latin West, from the times of Domenicus Gundisalvi to the Europe of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and of the newly founded Academies of Sciences, From Toledo to Gotha aims to gather some of the most innovative researchers working on aspects of the “Avicenna Latinus”. What is the nature and precise extent of Avicenna’s impact on European thought? Is it possible to isolate a specific Latin “brand” of Ibn Sina’s thought distinct from and defined against its original, “Arabic” contents and system? Is it accurate to consider that – as it has been commonly written – the main Islamicate authority in Europe was Averroes instead of Avicenna? How deep Renaissance Avicennism reshaped the Platonic and Aristotelian legacies? Which are the characteristic features of the material transmission, translation, circulation, and reading of Avicenna’s (and Ps-Avicenna’s) writings throughout Europe on the eve of the Scientific Revolution?

A joint collaboration among KU Leuven, UCLouvain, and SOFIME, the conference will foster a general re-setting of the debate on the “Avicenna Latinus”, shedding light on some obscure aspects of his influence on European philosophy through an organic, longue-durée and inter-linguistic approach to his philosophical production. Avicenna’s role in the constitution of European philosophy and science will be examined by discussing a series of intertwined questions touching upon a plurality of domains and aspects, from the material production and circulation of the Latin translations of Avicenna’s works to the impact of the latter on philosophical doctrines and medical practices developed in Europe.

Keynote speakers

Brian Copenhaver (UCLA), Amos Bertolacci (Scuola IMT Alti Studi Lucca), Iolanda Ventura (University of Bologna), Raphaela Veit (University of Cologne).


Cécile Bonmariage (UCLouvain), Sébastien Moureau (UCLouvain), Nicola Polloni (KU Leuven), Andrea Aldo Robiglio (KU Leuven).

Scientific Committee

Charles Burnett (The Warburg Institute), Silvia Di Donato (CNRS), Jules Janssens (Union Académique Intérnationale), Olga Lizzini (Université d’Aix-Marseille), Andreas Lammer (Radboud Universiteit), Pedro Mantas-España (Universidad de Córdoba), Cecilia Martini (Università di Padova), Gerd Van Riel (KU Leuven), Maarten Van Dyck (Universiteit Gent), Jacob Schmutz (UCLouvain).

Sponsoring Institutions

Sociedad de Filosofía Medieval (SOFIME), KU Leuven, UCLouvain, FWO (to be confirmed), FNRS (to be confirmed).


In order to apply, please, send your abstract (around 250 words) to cdwm-isp@uclouvain.be by 31 July 2022. Feel free to contact the organisers for any further information. Pending funding, there may be possibilities to cover some of the participants’ expenses. More information will be provided soon.


All speakers will be asked to submit their papers to publication in a peer-reviewed volume that will be edited soon after the conference.