Associate Professor of Philosophy Tiberiu Popa has been awarded a $6,000 National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend, which will support two months of research on how early thinkers explained natural phenomena.
The award letter noted that the review process was extremely competitive this year. Last year, the acceptance rate was 8 percent; this year, Popa and a Purdue University professor were the only Indiana recipients.Popa’s research project deals with the history of philosophy of science and is directly related to a chapter for his book project on early treatments of natural regularity and of material “powers” or dispositions.“The sustained effort of early thinkers to put some meaningful order in the slew of natural phenomena they witnessed, from the movement of planets to the behavior of uniform stuffs and to human physiology, is quite remarkable,” he said. “More specifically, this chapter is an account of the connections between emerging medicine and philosophy, between some of the more philosophically minded Hippocratic authors and some of the later Pre-Socratic thinkers,” Popa said. Two preliminary versions of this chapter will be presented in the United Kingdom this year – at the “Approaches to Ancient Medicine” conference at Cardiff University in August and at the University of Oxford in September, at the conference on “Medical Powers in Classical and Late Antiquity.”Popa said he is grateful for the endorsement he received from Butler and for the advice and assistance provided by Dana Ohren, from Butler’s Institute for Research and Scholarship, before applying for this NEH stipend.