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 About the Pufendorf Lectures

Each year, Lund University’s Department of Philosophy invites a prominent philosopher or cognitive scientist to give the Pufendorf Lectures. The lectures are open to anyone with an interest in philosophy or cognitive science. Use the navigation pane to the left to find information about this year’s lectures and recordings from previous years. Why Pufendorf? We started thinking in terms of places, the King’s house lectures, Lundagårdsföreläsningarna, etc. But maybe in 50 years these lectures will be held at a different place. And usually lectures like these are named after famous scholars. There is however one person who is probably the most famous of all academics from Lund and who is, according to the myth, also closely related to the King’s house. In fact he is said to haunt this building. His name was Samuel von Pufendorf (1632-1694).

 Samuel von PufendorfHe arrived here from Germany via Copenhagen where he had been the tutor of the Swedish ambassadeur. When the war between Denmark and Sweden recommenced he was imprisoned, but was afterwards appointed as one of the first professors of Lund University in 1670. In this very building, the story continues, he wrote his most important works ”De jure nuturae et gentium” “Om natur- och folkrätten” (1672) and ”Om människornas och medborgarnas plikt” (1673). When Denmark besieged Lund in 1676 he was called to Stockholm. But his ghost remains here. There are always problems with good stories about the King’s house. Some would claim that Karl XII never rode his horse up the beautiful stairs outside, and some would probably protest that in the 1670s the University was still situated in the Cathederal. But the library was already here, and what would be more natural than having Pufendorf writing his books in the library. Why else would he choose to be a ghost here?

     This page was last updated: 5/6/2010