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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Theoretical Philosophy


Dominik Perler is Professor of Philosophy at Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, and Co-Director of the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities Human Abilities.

He studied at the Universities of Fribourg (Dr. phil. 1991), Bern and Göttingen (Habilitation 1996), was Fellow of All Souls and Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Oxford (1996-97), and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Basel (1997-2003). He has had visiting appointments at several universities, among them UCLA, Tel Aviv University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Université libre de Bruxelles, and the École normale supérieure in Paris. He was Fellow at the Wissenschaftskolleg (Institute for Advanced Study) in Berlin, Fellow at the Istituto Svizzero di Roma, and Global Scholar at Princeton University.

In 2006 he was awarded the Gottfried-Wilhelm-Leibniz-Preis. He is a Member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Arts and Science, and a Member of Academia Europaea. In 2014 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Louvain. He served as President of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Philosophie (German Society for Philosophy).

His research focuses on medieval and early modern philosophy, mostly in the areas of philosophy of mind, epistemology, and ontology. He is co-editor of the book series “Quellen und Studien zur Philosophie” (W. de Gruyter) and serves on the editorial or advisory board of a number of journals, among them Journal of the History of Philosophy, Vivarium, Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie, Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung, Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy, Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy.


Recent books


  • Eine Person sein. Philosophische Debatten im Spätmittelalter, Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann 2020.
  • Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy, London: Routledge 2020 (ed. with Sebastian Bender).
  • Feelings Transformed. Philosophical Theories of the Emotions, 1270-1670, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018.
  • The Faculties: A History, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015 (ed.).
  • Partitioning the Soul. Debates from Plato to Leibniz, Berlin: W. de Gruyter 2014 (ed. with Klaus Corcilius).
  • Selbstbezug und Selbstwissen. Texte zu einer mittelalterlichen Debatte, Frankfurt a.M.: Klostermann 2014 (with Sonja Schierbaum).


Recent papers (selection)


  • "Suárez’s Compositional Account of Substance", in: A History of Hylomorphism, ed. by D. Charles, Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
  • "Productive Thoughts: Suárez on Exemplar Causes", Oxford Studies in Medieval Philosophy (forthcoming).
  • “Ockham on Memory and Double Intentionality”, Topoi (forthcoming), online first: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11245-020-09728-9.
  • “Can We Know Substances? Suárez on a Sceptical Puzzle”, Theoria (forthcoming), online first: https:// doi:10.1111/theo.12243.
  • “Spinoza on Diachronic Identity”, in: The Blackwell Companion to Spinoza, ed. by Y. Melamed, Oxford: Blackwell (forthcoming).
  • “Suárez on the Unity of Material Substances”, Vivarium 58 (2020), 143-167.
  • “Rational Seeing: Thomas Aquinas on Human Perception”, in: Medieval Perceptual Puzzles: Theories of Sense Perception in the 13th and 14th Centuries, ed. by E. Baltuta, Leiden: Brill 2020, 213-237.
  • “Suárez on Intellectual Cognition and Occasional Causation”, in: Causation and Cognition in Early Modern Philosophy, ed. by D. Perler & S. Bender, London: Routledge 2020, 18-38.
  • „Disembodied Cognition and Assimilation. Thirteenth-Century Debates on an Epistemological Puzzle“, Vivarium 57 (2019), 317-340.
  • „Mind and Method“, in: Philosophy of Mind in the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance, ed. by S. Schmid, London: Routledge 2019, 22-40.
  • „The Alienation Effect in the Historiography of Philosophy“, in: Philosophy and the Historical Perspective, ed. by M. van Ackeren, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2018, 140-154.
  • „Spinoza on Skepticism“, in: The Oxford Handbook of Spinoza, ed. by M. Della Rocca, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017, 220-239.
  • „Emotions and Rational Control: Two Medieval Perspectives“, in: Thinking about the Emotions. A Philosophical History, ed. by A. Cohen & R. Stern, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2017, 60-82.
  • „Self-Knowledge in Scholasticism“, in: Self-Knowledge, ed. by U. Renz, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2016, 114-130.
  • „Was ist eine Person? Überlegungen zu Leibniz“, Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 64 (2016), 329-351.
  • „Spinozas Theorie der Universalien“, Zeitschrift für philosophische Forschung 70 (2016), 163-188.
  • „Anneliese Maier and the Study of Medieval Philosophy Today“, Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (2015), 173-184.
  • „Perception in Medieval Philosophy“, in: The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Perception, ed. by M. Matthen, Oxford: Oxford University Press 2015, 51-65.
  • „What is a Dead Body? Richard of Mediavilla and Dietrich of Freiberg on a Metaphysical Puzzle“, Recherches de théologie et philosophie médiévales 82 (2015), 61-87.