Pasnau in Progress (May 2022)


Forthcoming Papers

"Old Bad Attitudes," Philosophers' Imprint (forthcoming).

The systematic study of male misogyny began with Christine de Pizan at the start of the fifteenth century. Although her work has generally been neglected within the history of philosophy, her ideas illuminate many questions of pressing current philosophical concern, including the nature of epistemic injustice, the prospects for an individualistic methodology in social theory, and the epistemology of disagreement. Rather that offer a conventional history of philosophy. I begin with Christine, take inspiration from her to construct various theoretical frameworks for thinking about her claims, and then I attempt to return to her over the bridge I have just assembled. If the approach works, others may be able to use the bridge themselves, and so find they have an easier path toward thinking about both Christine and other historical texts that engage with similar questions.

"Medieval Engagement with Authorial Intention", commissioned by James Simpson for a special issue of the Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies.

The Middle Ages developed a rigorous semantic account of how thought mediates between words and things. Modern literary theory, in contrast, has been characteristically skeptical about whether anything is gained by attempting to discover the thoughts of the author that lie behind the words. Medieval readers seek to engage with the author's thoughts because they understand reading to be a form of interpersonal engagement. The text is not simply an impersonal artifact, good for stimulating certain sorts of responses, but is an expression of the thoughts of another mind. Ultimately, it is the value of minds connecting with other minds that causes medieval readers to care about authorial intention.


Work in Progress

I am deep into writing a book on voluntarism in the later Middle Ages. The goal is to look very widely at the many aspects of voluntarism, as it concerns not just the scholastic debate over free will but also in ethics, politics, and literature.

I am also at work on a collection of non-historical philosophy essays, written in a semi-popular style, and I continue to study Arabic and the classical Islamicate philosophical tradition.


Unpublished Papers

"Philosophical Beauty"

Does philosophy make progress? If so, why bother studying its history? The answer I offer here is that we should study it because it is beautiful. Written for the 2011 PhilProgress symposium at Harvard.


Unpublished Translations

Unpublished Texts and Notes