Special Issue "Historic Ontology and Epistemology"

A special issue of Philosophies (ISSN 2409-9287).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 10 February 2023 | Viewed by 40

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Vincent Colapietro
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Philosophy, Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA 16801, USA
Interests: American philosophy; semiotics; Peirce

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are inviting scholars to submit essays for a Special Issue devoted to historical ontology and epistemology or, perhaps more accurately, methodology. Though ontologies designed to do justice to time and history have been belated (the dominant tradition being one in which becoming has been slighted), philosophers and other theorists have dramatically shifted the focus of attention, especially since the 19th century. Even so, much remains to be explored. For the sake of encouraging this exploration, we are focusing on the ontological status of historical processes. While we adopt an inclusive approach, specifically one open to considering submissions in which their authors explore the possibility of our knowledge of historical phenomena and thus transient affairs, our hope is to receive essays concerned with how our knowledge of such phenomena and affairs, in specific domains. Insofar as epistemology is a discipline preoccupied with the question of skepticism, our interest is more methodological than epistemological (though we are, to repeat, open to epistemologically oriented work).

Historical relativity is at once an incontestable fact and an endlessly disputed topic. The dread of lapsing into some self-defeating form of relativism often seems to seduce theorists into denying the obvious; our locus in an open-ended history is a defining condition of all human pursuits. Facile appeals to a transcendent perspective war with unqualified affirmations of temporal location, precluding any possibility of avoiding presentism (i.e., of transcending our “moment” in history). Of course, essays drawing upon historical figures such as Darwin, Nietzsche, James, Bergson, and Whitehead are welcome, but we are not looking for purely exegetical submissions. 

We welcome submissions focused on the history of a single practice or extended family of shared practices, such as the history of the natural sciences or of historical disciplines themselves, insofar as they are concerned with the ontology of their objects, as well as submissions in which histories of different practices are explored for the sake of illuminating these diverse practices (e.g., an examination of the history of the arts vis-à-vis that of the sciences).

To what extent, if any, are historical processes teleological? To what extent does the history of historiographical practices and historical consciousness itself need to be incorporated in the work of historians and simply the self-understanding of human agents implicated in an ongoing process? Do mathematical truths imply what certain champions of what is often identified as “Platonism” claim they are, truths removed from the flux of time? Is historical relativism the self-defeating position so many thinkers even today still judge it to be? These are simply examples of questions falling within the scope of our topic.

Prof. Dr. Vincent Colapietro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Philosophies is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • abduction
  • becoming
  • foundationalism and anti-foundationalism
  • historicity
  • invariance
  • mutability
  • relativism
  • skepticism and anti-skepticism
  • transcendence
  • transience

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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