You are here

Professor Ian Maclean

MA, DPhil, FBA, FRHistS, Officier, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Member of the Academia Europaea
Emeritus Fellow since 2015
Emeritus Professor of Renaissance Studies, University of Oxford; Honorary Professor, University of St Andrews
The general area of my research is the organization and transmission of knowledge in early modern Europe. This involves the history of interpretation in the higher faculties (law, medicine, theology) and the economics and modalities of the trade in learned books in the period. I have completed a third volume on this last topic which is due to appear in 2020 entitled 'Episodes in the life of the early modern learned book'. I have also completed a study of the reception of Hippocrates in late seventeenth-century Europe, which is due to appear in a volume co-edited by Dmitri Levitin and myself entitled 'Classical reception in early modern Europe: comparative perspectives'. My present project is a study of the last writings of Girolamo Cardano, which will include a partial edition of his final work, the 'De prudentia eximia'.
Professor Ian Maclean
  • Background

    • Honorary Professor, University of St Andrews (2018)
    • Emeritus Fellow, All Souls College (from 2015)
    • Fellow Librarian, All Souls College (from 1998 to 2015)
    • Senior Research Fellow, All Souls College (from 1996 to 2012)
    • Lecturer, then ad hominem Reader, University of Oxford, Praelector in French, and Fellow of Queen’s College (from 1972 to 1996)
    • Lecturer, Department of French, University of Leeds (from 1969 to 1972)
    • British Institute, Paris (from 1967 to 1968)
    • Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Senior Scholar), Wadham College, Oxford (from 1963 to 1969)
  • Research interests

    • Early modern intellectual history, history of medicine, law and theology, history of interpretation
    • History of the book
    • Cardano
    • Montaigne
  • Selected publications

    • 'The other philology: resolving doubts about textual meaning in early modern law and theology', in The marriage of philology and scepticism: uncertainty and conjecture in early modern scholarship and thought, ed. Gian Mario Cao, Anthony Grafton and Jill Kraye, London: Warburg Institute, 2019, pp. 27-46
    • 'Degrés de certitude: Montaigne, Bacon, Descartes', Montaigne Studies, 26 (2014), 207-24
    • 'The logic of physiognomy in the late Renaissance', Early Science and Medicine, 16 (2011), 275-95
    • 'Philippist hermeneutics after the Formula of Concord: the case of Georg Sohn (1551-1589)', in Hermeneutik, Methodenlehre, Exegese; zur Theorie der Interpretation in der frühen Neuzeit, ed. Günter Frank and Stephan Meier-Oeser, Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 2011, pp. 147-72
    • 'Girolamo Cardano: the last years of a polymath', Renaissance studies, 21 (2007), 587-607
    • 'The sceptical crisis reconsidered: Galen, rational medicine and the libertas philosophandi', Early Science and Medicine, 11 (2006), 247-74
    • 'White crows, graying hair and eyelashes: problems for natural historians in the reception of Aristotle’s logic and biology from Pomponazzi to Bacon', in Historia: empiricism and erudition in early modern Europe, ed. Gianna Pomata and Nancy G. Siraisi, Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2005, pp. 147-79
    • Scholarship, Commerce, Religion: the learned book in the Ages of Confessions, 1560-1630, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012
    • Learning in the marketplace; essays in the history of early modern books, Leiden: Brill, 2009
    • Logic, signs and nature in the Renaissance: the case of learned medicine, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001
    • Publications (External Link)
  • Other professional memberships and roles

    • Lyell Readership in Bibliography, University of Oxford (2010)
    • Directeur d’Etudes invité, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris (2007)
    • George Parker Winship Lecturer, Harvard University (2006)
    • Professeur invité, Collège de France (2005)
    • Member, Advisory Committee, Warburg Institute (from 2003 to 2009)
    • Joint General Editor, Oxford-Warburg Studies (1999)
    • Visiting Fellow, Council of the Humanities, University of Princeton (1996)
    • Member of the Wissenschaftlicher Beirat, Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel (from 1996 to 2005)
    • Visiting Fellow, Herzog-August-Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel (1995, 2006)
    • Member, Committee of the Maison Française, Oxford (from 1994 to 2014)
    • Director, the European Humanities Research Centre, Oxford (from 1994 to 1996)
    • Eberard L. Faber Class of 1915 Memorial Lecturer, University of Princeton (1994)
    • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, CRRS, University of Toronto (1994)
    • Visiting Professor, Catholic University of Nijmegen (1993)
    • Visiting Fellow, Humanities Research Centre, A.N.U., Canberra, Australia (1983)