MODERN GREEK PHILOSOPHY RESEARCH CENTRE
KONSTANTINOS TH. PETSIOS
ASSOC. PROFESSOR OF ΗISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
I. THE RESEARCH CENTRE PROFILE
The Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre operates within the University of Ioannina, as part of the Section of Philosophy of the Department of Philosophy, Paedagogy and Psychology. The Centre houses a multitude of exceptionally rare and rich self-contained collections, which comprise approximately 32,500 manuscript and print texts as well as a significant number of archives. The gathering of the material began in November 1993 by the (currently honorary) Professor of Philosophy Nikos K. Psemmenos, and the collections are constantly enriched with new possessions, that are registered in the Book of Entry and subsequently archived in user-friendly thematic and chronological units. The Presidential Decree 349 (Issue 290 of the Government Gazette, December 2002) attributed formal status to the Centre, which had functioned informally prior to that date, and invested the Centre with administrative autonomy. The position of Research Centre Director has been held by Assoc. Professor of History of Philosophy Konstantinos Th. Petsios since 2003, following the decision of the Department of Philosophy, Paedagogy and Psychology (conf. no. 214/12-2-2003). Naturally, the material collection is ongoing and seminars are held in the centre facilities, where academics from Greek and foreign universities have been invited to speak, along with researchers who focus on specialized issues of Modern Greek philosophy and science.
The Modern Greek Philosophy Centre caters for teaching and research needs focusing on the history of Modern Greek Philosophy and Science spanning from the mid-15th century to the current times (21st c.), and has the following objectives:
- the collection of primary archival material;
- the codification of information units (bibliographies, indices) referring to particular Modern Greek philosophers and thinkers who were remarkable for their philosophical interests. Particular emphasis is placed on material concerning Modern Greek philosophers and scientists from the Diaspora;
- the collection of evidence regarding the broadly construed cultural context of the period of the Turkish occupation;
- the operation of a specialized library, which is already visited and used by not only by faculty members, undergraduate and postgraduate students of the University of Ioannina and other universities, but also by researchers from other Greek towns. A large part of the library is made up by reference works: specialised dictionaries, some dating back to the 19th century, bibliographical works (e.g. Émile Legrand, Bibliographie Hellenique), registers of archives and manuscripts, textbooks on general history, ecclesiastical history and history of education, handbooks of university departments of philosophy etc. ;
- the preservation and exploitation of archival and print material;
- the study of specialized problems of Modern Greek philosophy, as well as the publication of special monographs. A considerable number of post-graduate dissertations and doctoral theses have already been published and submitted to the Department of Philosophy of the University of Ioannina and similar Departments in other Universities throughout Greece.
- the annotated publication of manuscripts and the reprints of rare texts.
Works already in publication include the first edition of Συνταγμάτιον τῆς Μεταφυσικῆς (A compilation on Metaphysics) by the philosopher Vicentios Damodos (1700-1754) of Cefallonia, edited by Vasiliki Bobou-Stamate and indices by the former director of the Research Centre, Hon. Professor of the University of Ioannina, Nikos Psemmenos. In addition, the following treatises are currently being prepared for publication:
- Eugenios Voulgares, Logic […], 1766. Ed. Konstantinos Th. Petsios;
- Methodios Anthrakites, An Introduction to the Treatise of Logic, 1726. Ed. Konstantinos Th. Petsios;
- Georgios Sougdoures, AboutAristotle’sGeneration and Corruption, 1674. Ed. Konstantinos Th. Petsios;
- Georgios Sougdoures, About the Philosophers memoranda on Nature. Eds. Konstantinos Th. Petsios and Charitonas Karanasios;
- Vicentios Damodos, A Synopsis of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, according to the peripatetic interpretation. Ed. Konstantinos Th. Petsios;
- Vicentios Damodos, Aristotle’s Logic, or Logic according to Aristotle’s method in common tongue. Eds. Vasilike Bobou-Stamate and Konstantinos Th. Petsios;
- Nikolaos Zerzoules – Dorotheos of Lesvos, The Texts of a Philisophical Debate through Correspondance – 1759. Ed. Konstantinos Th. Petsios.
III. COLLECTIONS AND ARCHIVES OF CULTURAL EVIDENCE WITH HISTORICAL - PHILOSOPHICAL CONTENT
The Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre constitutes the sole research centre in Greece, and – to our knowledge – in Europe which possesses and manages cultural content of exceptional value and significant interest pertaining to the life, the work and the secondary bibliography of ALL the Modern Greek thinkers who served philosophy. The Research Centre, whose operation is oriented not only towards the diachronical level but also towards the synchronic plane, is noted for its rare and rich collections, which contain:
- manuscripts (original) of Greek philosophers from the period of the Turkish occupation and subsequent years, as well as works of modern philosophers (Georgios Koressios, Theophilos Korydaleus, Nikolaos Koursoulas, Gerasimos Vlachos, Georgios Sougdoures, Methodios Anthrakites, Konstantinos Koumas, Philippos Ioannou, Theophilos Voreas, Vasileios Tatakes, Panagiotis Kondyles etc.). Some of the above manuscripts constitute codici unices, according to research to date;
- manuscripts (copies) – microfilms for which the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre holds the copyright. A substantial number of extracts from manuscript works, have been published by the periodical journal of the Centre «Τὰ Νέα τοῦ ΚΕ.ΝΕ.Φ.» (KE.NE.F. news), which currently numbers eight issues (1998-2001) ;
- a collection of anonymously authored manuscripts;
- rare first editions copies (15th – 20th century) of Modern Greek thinkers and scholars;
- complete collections of bibliographical evidence pertaining to individual Modern Greek philosophers, their general teaching presence and their activities in the cultural context of their time;
- manuscript and print sources regarding the operation of schools and any kind of literary establishments during the Turkish occupation. Collections of findings referring to the function of schools (e.g. Schools in Ioannina, Kozani, Mount Athos, Kydoniae, Chios, Crete etc.) ;
- thematic units which comprise archival material referring to broader chronological settings (e.g. 15th, 16th c., Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romanticism etc.) ;
- collection of bound and catalogued philosophical, literary and historical-philosophical assignments from a range of journals such as: Byzantinische Zeitschrift, Byzantion, Nietzche - Studien, Kant - Studien, Νέα Ἑστία, Ἠπειρωτικὴ Ἑστία, Ἠπειρωτικὰ Χρονικά, Ἠπειρωτικὸ Ἡμερολόγιο, Θεσσαλικὸ Ἡμερολόγιο, Ὁ Ἐν Κωνσταντινουπόλει Ἑλληνικὸς Φιλολογικὸς Σύλλογος, Φιλόλογος etc. ;
- a collection of conference programmes;
- a collection of conference proceedings;
- doctoral dissertations, some of which are available in digital form;
- rare translations of philosophical as well as historical-literary texts of European literature (e.g. by Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Goethe, Hegel, Schelling, Fichte, Marx etc.) undertaken by Modern Greek philosophers;
- reasonably comprehensive lists of works and publications of Greeks who still serve philosophy either through their publications or through their teaching in universities and research centres in Greece or the Diaspora;
- issues of rare philosophical journals from the 19th or early 20th century and comprehensive series of modern philosophical journals (Φιλοσοφία, Ἑλληνικὴ Φιλοσοφικὴ Ἐπιθεώρηση, Δευκαλίων etc.).
The above-listed collections co-exist with a range of extensive archives whose material is at the disposal of researchers:
- archive of frontispieces of philosophical publications.
- archive of manuscript philosophical and historical-philosophical texts.
- archive of images of philosophers and scholars who were active in Greek space and the Diaspora.
- archive of posters of philosophical events (from 1980 to the present).
- archive ἐφημέρων, which contains evidence of the life and work of those Modern Greeks who contributed or continue to contribute to the formation of the historical and philosophical life both within and without the borders of their country.
- archive with rare engravings (copper-, stone-engravings etc.) and photographs broadly referring to our cultural heritage.
- archive of exhibitions (rare manuscripts – print evidence, photographs, publication frontispieces, handwritten letters etc.) which were organised by the Modern Greek Philosophy Centre in the University of Ioannina.
The following 33 exhibitions have taken place:
- Modern Greek Philosophers in the Years of the Turkish Occupation (June 1999).
- Research Projects Undertaken by Members of the Section of Philosophy of the University of Ioannina on Modern Greek Philosophy (July-August 1999).
- The Reception of Goethe’s Work in Greece (September 1999).
- Methodios Anthrakites, “who philosophised differently from the Aristotelians” (October 1999).
- Books and Memorabilia of the late Panagiotis Kondyles (November 1999).
- Alexandros Elladios: a nearly forgotten scholar of the 17th/18th century (December 1999).
- Doctoral Dissertations of Greeks in the 19th century (January 2000).
- Hegelian Thought in the Hermeneutic Conceptualisation of Greek Researchers (February 2000).
- Reinterpretations of Aristotelian Political Thought (March 2000).
- V. N. Tatakes (1897-1986): The philosopher and historian of philosophy (April 2000).
- Studies on Adamantios Korais (May 2000).
- Petros Vrailas Armenes: A 19th century philosopher (June 2000).
- Browsing Catalogues of Foreign Publishing Houses: The Greek presence in the international philosophical millieu (July-August 2000).
- In Memory of Methodios Anthrakites in his Birthplace: Anthrakites of Zagori, July 23rd 2000 (September 2000).
- Regas Velestinles of Thessaly (October 2000).
- Georgios Vizyenos: philosopher and poet (1849-1896) (November 2000).
- Greece in the 1950s: perspectives of Greek towns. Samples of Greek philosophical investigations (December 2000).
- Kostas Papaioannou (Volos 1925 – Paris 1981): A philosopher of the Diaspora (January 2001).
- Evgenios Voulgares (1716-1806): the 18th century philosopher (February 2001).
- Programmes of academic events on Modern Greek philosophers (March 2001).
- Poetry Philosophical – Poetic compilations by servants of philosophy (April 2001).
- In Memory of Alkis Angellou (1917-2001) (May 2001).
- Anastasios Lazarou: friend and colleague of Ch. Theodoridis (June 2001).
- “Dodoni” 1996-2000: Research projects on Modern Greek Philosophy (July-August 2001).
- Theophilos Veikos 1936-1995 (September 2001).
- Socrates Year: His life and works as construed by the Modern Greeks (October 2001).
- Spyros Kyriazopoulos (1932-1977): His work (November 2001).
- Publications of the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre (May 2002).
- Spyros Kyriazopoulos (1932-1977): Evidence of writing activity (December 2003).
- Homage to Honorary Professor Nikos K. Psemmenos (December 2004).
- Athanasios Psalidas (1767-1829): Prints and manuscripts (May 2005).
- Μethodios Anthrakites manuscript philosophical work: New evidence (May 2006).
- Thinking and Acting: 250 years since the birth of Regas Velestinles (April 2007).
V. CONTRIBUTION OF THE MODERN GREEK PHILOSOPHY RESEARCH CENTRE TO ACADEMIC TEACHING
Using the specific collections it owns and manages, the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre, caters to the maximum degree possible for the teaching and research needs of the Department of Philosophy, Paedagogy and Psychology of the University of Ioannina, as well as the needs of other departments of the said university and other foundations, as regards the field of Modern Greek Philosophy. The specialised collections of the Centre have proven particularly useful to the research community of Greece as well as Europe.
As noted above, the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre operates within the framework of the Section of Philosophy (itself a part of the Department of Philosophy, Paedagogy and Psychology) of the University of Ioannina and possesses its own facilities, where the Library and the abovementioned collections are housed. The Centre makes decisive contributions — in collaboration with the Centre for Study of the History of Social and Political ideas, directed by Professor Panagiotis Noutsos; with the Centre for Plotinian Studies, directed by Professor Georgia Apostolopoulou and with the Centre of Platonic and Aristotelian Studies, directed by Assos. Professor Christos Tezas,— towards the efficient fulfilment of undergraduate and especially postgraduate needs of the Section of Philosophy, the Department of Philosophy, Paedagogy and Psychology and, more generally, of the University of Ioannina.
At this juncture, one should mention that the collections of the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre are being utilized within the approved Postgraduate Degree programme «Greek Philosophy – Philosophy of Science» of the Section of Philosophy, the analytical programme of which includes the subjects «Modern Greek Philosophy» and «Modern Greek Philosophy and the European Culture».
- TA NEA TOU K.E.NE.Φ. Issues 1-8 (1998 – 2001). Ed. Nikos K. Psimmenos.
- KATOPTRON NEOELLHNIKHS PHILOSOPHIAS. Issue 1 (June 2007). Ed. Konstantinos Th. Petsios.
The Centre’ s journals are available in digital format from the Research Centre’ s website www.kenef.phil.uoi.gr.
VII. OPERATIONAL PROGRAMM «INFORMATION SOCIETY»: DATA BASE – DIGITAL LIBRARY
The project “Development and internet display of integrated primary collections of historical-philosophical content: Hellenomouseion” (budget: 300.000€) was implemented by the Modern Greek Philosophy Research centre from July 2004 to spring 2007 as part of Invitation 65 of Measure 1.3. “Documentation, exploitation and showcasing of Hellenic Culture” of Operational Programm «Information Society» [Action Line 1. Education, Culture. Action 1.4. and 2.5].
The ultimate beneficiary of the action (which was funded at 75% by the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) and 25% by the Ministry of Finances (through national resources) was the University of Ioannina, which safeguards its viability and provides the prerequisite technical support for the operation of the Centre’s webpage.
The complex and dynamic data- and meta-data base, along with the digital Library have been made possible through the implementation of the Project. The digitisation and documentation aspect of the project were executed in-house (were implemented in-house)and the appropriate rules of publication were enforced. More specifically:
The academic supervision for the implementation of the project (July 2004 - Spring 2007) was entrusted to Assoc. Professor of Philosophy of the Section of Philosophy (and Director of the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre) Konstantinos Th. Petsios, who also authored the particular historical-philosophical texts, created the work-biographical, literary and palaeographic documentation of the digitised material and suggested the method to be followed. Additional assistance in the historical-philosophical documentation was provided by Professor Panagiotis Noutsos, while the participation of other colleagues and specialised researchers is also envisioned.
The architecture for the design of the data and metadata base and the digital display format were designed by Assoc. Professor Konstantinos Th. Petsios and was implemented by (listed alphabetically): Petros Kostademas and Vassileios Tatsis, who carried the main responsibility, and with the assistance of Sonia Roumeli and Stergios Tsimakis.
The digitization was implemented with the participation of the following (listed alphabetically): Nikolaos Agiotes, Olga Vargiote, Panagiotes Georgiou, Stavroula Gounda, Konstantina Diamante, Elena Efthimiade, Athanassios Ziagos, Athina Theodose, Aspassia Theodossiou, Photine Kopiloglou, Nikolaos Korkas, Konstantinos Koskerides, Eirene Beteine, Antigone Papanikolaou, Sofia Rizou, Panagiota Sioula, Katerina Stefanopoulou, Ioanna Typou, Athanassia Yfande.
The translation of selected content sections was carried out by (in alphabetical order): Angela Gorgole, Achilleas Kostoulas (who was also entrusted with the stylistic editing of the translations) and Natasha Levente. The translated texts were inspected by Assoc. Professor of Philosophy Konstantinos Th. Petsios.
A total of 26 people participated in different times in the Program, following “invitations of interest”. Most of the participants were postgraduate students of the Section of Philosophy of the Ioannina University Department of Philosophy, Paedagogy and Psychology.
VIII. THE WEBSITE OF THE MODERN GREEK PHILOSOPHY RESEARCH CENTRE
The Centre website provides access to approximately 35,500 work and biographical entries, which are complemented by a solid corpus of historical-philosophical, literary and palaeographical documentation, information about 12,500 authors and in excess of 150,000 digitised pages of old texts and articles (in .pdf form). A substantial and constantly expanding number of passages is supplemented by digitised documents (in .pdf format), which are available free of charge. The indication «digital format» (in bold) can be located at the bottom of every electronic form.
Old prints and articles that make up the digital library are easily accessible, due to appropriate treatment. Each text is supplemented by a detailed Table of Contents, which have been typed in order to facilitate study by researchers.
The constantly enriched body of data and meta-data has been entered into a composite dynamic base, which is particularly user-friendly to specialised researchers, students or informed members of the public, as its architectural foundations provide for the systematic incorporation of knowledge (rather than mere information) in an integrated whole, access to which is facilitated due to the multiple “search” options without limitations to the storing of content.
For a large number of documents, visitors can access Contents and Abstracts, most of which are written in English. In addition, Greek summaries are provided for texts written in other languages. These have been typed using the polytonic Palatino Linotype typeface (Unicode - UTF 8), in order to enable keyword-based searching.
Due to the nature of the evidence, the polytonic orthographical system (Palatino Linotype font) was used to store the texts in the database and for their internet display, a fact which severely challenged the Research Group, since it appears that such a venture had never been attempted in the past. Despite the added difficulties that the polytonic system entailed, it was felt that this form was necessary in order to best convey the historical nature of the linguistic representation of Modern Greek thought. Free access to the website content is facilitated by a multifaceted but also user-friendly «search» function, where the requested information may be entered in polytonic and monotonic orthographical system and of course in all European languages.
The constantly expanding data- and meta-data base mainly contains references to Modern Greek Philosophy, although an effort was made to showcase adjacent fields such as Sociology, Paedagogy, Psychology, Theology, Social Anthropology, History, Linguistics and the Natural Sciences. The versatile and graded “search” function (with “simple”, “advanced” and “expanded” options), as well as the guidance to specific thematic units, offers additional possibilities for accessing requested data.
XI. NAVIGATION – BROWSING INSTRUCTIONS
It is possible to search information in three levels:
A. Simple Search.
B. Advanced Search.
C. Expanded Search
A. Simple Search.
Type the surname of the person or their full name [Surname first, followed by a coma (,) a space and the given name]. It is also possible to search alternate name variants, e.g. Βούλγαρις Εὐγένιος // Βούλγαρις // Βούλγαρης // Voulgaris—Musschenbroek // Μουσχεμβροέκιος—Νοῦτσος // Noutsos—Πέτσιος// Petsios—Ψημμένος// Psimmmenos—Hegel // Χέγκελ—Gramsci // Γκράμσι.
When displaying results for person search, findings pertaining to each person’s writing activity are initially listed. These are chronologically ordered based on the most recent study. Texts edited by the same person or studies referring to him/her follow in the same display, but in a visually distinct subcategory. Findings in this subcategory are listed alphabetically.
Type the item or items in which you are interested, separated by a blank space. Entries will also be displayed in the search findings not only if the search items are included in their titles or subtitles, but also if they are contained in the notes, abstracts and/or contents. The search is not case-sensitive (i.e. typing in minuscule letters will also locate items written in capitals and visa-versa).
The queried items (person, keyword) can be entered in either the polytonic or the monotonic orthographic systems. It should also be noted that searches in minuscule letters will also locate items written in capital form and visa-versa.
In the Greek language, nouns (e.g. εὐδαιμονία, ἐλευθερία), adjectives (e.g. ἀγαθός, σεμνός) as well as names (e.g. Ἀνθρακίτης, Βούλγαρις, Ζερζούλης) can be conjugated, and may be found in the electronic register of titles and texts not only in the nominative case but also in other cases such as genitive, dative and accusative (e.g. εὐδαιμονίας, ἐλευθερίαν, ἀγαθοῦ, σεμνόν, Ἀνθρακίτην, Βουλγάρεως, Ζερζούλην). Consequently, a search will yield more comprehensive results if only the first, unchanging part of the word is entered (i.e. the suffix is omitted), as in εὐδαιμον, ἐλευθερ, ἀγαθ, σεμν, Ἀνθρακίτ, Βούλγαρ, Ζερζούλ. The same applies to person forms of verbs.
This function is also available in other search levels
B. Advanced Search.
This function allows users to:
a)have dedicated access to fields pertaining to the persons as writers, translators, editors, illustrators etc., as well as older and recent complex literature referring to their lives and works. It is possible to list findings alphabetically based on the initial of the writer’s surname or the book or article. Alternatively, results can be ordered chronologically.
b)find titles of all the journals, annals, conference proceedings and newspapers which have been entered in the data- and meta-data base, as well as particular articles which have been abstracted from the above.
c)search data which have been listed in the thinkers’ work-biographies. More specifically, by providing a keyword and selecting from the Biography – List of Works, or Philosophical Views menus, related entries are displayed, which pertain to the relevant documentation and contain the queried terms. In addition, if the terms «Ioannina» or «University of Ioannina» («Leipzig», «University of Leipzig» etc.) are entered in the «place of origin», «place of activity» and «foundation» fields, it is possible to display all personalities who come from Ioannina, those who were intellectually active in the said city or taught in the above university, as well as the other towns and academic foundations.
d)locate all articles in journals, annals, Conference Proceedings, Collaborative Volumes and newspapers which have been entered in the data- or meta-data base, by typing the queried term.
e)learn about the editions which were funded by particular Phanariotes during the Turkish Occupation, as well as the names of all people who subscribed to the various books.
f)study the contents, notes, abstracts and Comments of Monographs, Articles, Doctoral Dissertations and Collaborative Volumes.
C. Expanded Search
In the Expanded Search function, it is possible to make restricted queries using the 145 philosophical themes (e.g. Descartes – Cartesianism, Aesthetics, Bibliography (Collections), Cognitive Science, Modern Greek Aristotelianism, Modern Greek Enlightenment, Metaphycics, etc.), and the chronological ordering of writers and documents, so as to limit the range of findings. The document form can be specified further, through the available options. For example, users may focus their interest only on translations, book reviews and/or on studies relating to bibliography about Epiros.
XIΙ. Particular units
Particular units sketch out the History of Modern Greek Philosophy in its diachronic dimension (from the mid-15th century to the present date) and present aspects of Modern Greek thinking supplemented with relevant literature. A decision was made to present the fundamental aspects of Modern Greek Philosophy and the most prominent Modern Greek philosophers in a timeline divided by centuries for reasons of method, because we believe the evolution of Modern Greek philosophical thought is best tracked thus. At the same time, the systematic exposition of the philosophical issues within this timeline enables the webpage visitors to formulate a lucid view about the intellectual activity of the era and about the work of the intellectuals who held pivotal roles in it. Every passage is signed by its author.
At this point one should also point out that the intellectual activity which transpired historically from the 13th century to the present date in Epiros (i.e. the local and societal context in which the University of Ioannina is located), constitutes a distinct entity within the Website of the Modern Greek Philosophy Research Centre. It is our belief that in this way a channel of communication is formed between the university and the township of Ioannina, a locality that during the period of the Turkish occupation witnessed the function of schools of high intellectual calibre, the teaching pf prominent scholarly personalities of Modern Hellenism [Vessarion Makres, Georgios Sougdoures, Michael Metros (Meletios Geographos), Evgenios Voulgares, Balanos Vassilopoulos, Athanasios Psalidas, etc.], the outstanding blossoming of philosophy and scientific thought and the growth of a fruitful discourse with the ideas of the Enlightenment and Modernism.
A significant requisite is addressed though the implemented project with research self-sufficiency and scientific autonomy, in that Modern Greek Philosophy is showcased and highlighted in its diachronic dimension both to the Greek and to the international community, thus validly revealing an aspect of the History of the Modern Greek intellect which had remained -to a great extent- obscure.
KONSTANTINOS TH. PETSIOS
OF ΗISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY