Maria Rosa Antognazza (1964-2023)


Maria Rosa Antognazza, professor of philosophy at King’s College London, has died.

Professor Antognazza was known for her work on the history of philosophy, particularly Leibniz, philosophy of religion, and epistemology. She is the author of, among other things, Leibniz: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2016), Leibniz: An Intellectual Biography (Cambridge University Press, 2009), Leibniz on the Trinity and the Incarnation: Reason and Revelation in the Seventeenth Century (Yale University Press, 2007). Another book, Thinking with Assent: Renewing a Traditional Account of Knowledge and Belief is due out from Oxford University Press this year.

You can learn more about her research here and here.

Professor Antognazza joined King’s College London in 2003. Prior to that, she was a member of the philosophy faculty at the University of Aberdeen. She earned her PhD in philosophy from Catholic University in Milan. She was the current the chair of the British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP) and a recent president of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion (BSPR)

According to a memorial notice published on the King’s College London philosophy department page, Professor Antognazza died on Tuesday, March 28th, after a short illness.  In a memorial notice at the BSPR site, she is remembered as “a brilliant and learned philosopher, kind and sensitive, and always so energetic and generous.”

Her funeral is to take place on Friday March 31st, at the Holy Road Catholic Church, Abingdon Road, Oxford, at a time to be confirmed.

You can listen to an interview with Professor Antognazza here.

UPDATE: Readers may be particularly interested in Professor Antognazza’s article, “The Benefit to Philosophy of the Study of Its History” which appeared in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy in 2014 (ungated version downloadable here). In it, she says:

The history of philosophy should be both a kind of history and a kind of philosophy, and that its engagement in genuinely historical inquiries is far from irrelevant to its capacity to contribute to philosophy as such. As a kind of history, the history of philosophy must meet the standards of any other serious historical scholarship, including the use of the relevant linguistic and philological tools, and the study of the broader political, cultural, scientific, and religious contexts in which more strictly philosophical views developed. As a kind of philosophy, however, its ultimate aim should be a substantive engagement with those very philosophical views—first, in striving to understand them on their own terms, and secondly, in probing and interrogating them as possible answers to central questions of enduring philosophical relevance.

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Alex Douglas
1 year ago

We are posting tributes to Rosa on the BSHP site here (there is an email address there for people who want to send their tributes): https://bshp.org.uk/society/in-memoriam-maria-rosa-antognazza-1/