Peter Eardley | College of Arts

Peter Eardley

Professor and Graduate Program Coordinator
Phone number: 
519-824-4120 x 53211
Mackinnon 333


BA (Hons) Classics, McGill University

MA Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto

PhD Centre for Medieval Studies, University of Toronto



My area of specialization is later medieval thought, especially of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. Specifically, my research focuses on the metaphysics, ethics and theology of such such figures as Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), Giles of Rome (1243/47-1316), Henry of Ghent (d.1293) John Duns Scotus (1265-1308) and William of Ockham (1287-1347). Although much of my work has thus far focused on medieval treatments of such issues as moral weakness, happiness and the freedom of the will, I  have recently become interested in the question of theology as a science. I am also interested in medieval conceptions of the parts of logic, and particularly rhetoric. My research has been funded by a Standard Research Grant from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and by the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung/Foundation.



Books and Edited Collections:


  • Aquinas: A Guide for the Perplexed. With C.N. Still (London/New York: Continuum, 2010).
  • A Companion to Giles of Rome. Ed. With C.F. Briggs (Leiden: Brill, 2016).

Articles and Book Chapters:


  • "Medieval Theories of Conscience," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy  (2021).
  • "Rhetoric and the Status of Theology in the Late Thirteenth Century," in The Origin and Nature of Language and Logic: Perspectives in Medieval Islamic, Jewish and Christian Thought. Eds. N. Germann and S. Harvey (Turnhout: Brepols, 2020), 297-322.
  • "Augustinian Science or Aristotelian Rhetoric? The Nature of Theology according to Giles of Rome," Studia Patristica 87 (2017), 23-33.
  • "Soul and Morality," in Philosophy of Mind in the Early and High Middle Ages. The History of the Philosophy of Mind. Volume 2. Ed. M. Cameron. General Editor Christopher Shields (New York/London: Routledge, 2018), 240-256.
  • "Rhetoric and its Relationship to Philosophy in the Middle Ages," in Rhetorik und Philosophie. Eds. A. Hetzel and G. Posselt (Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2017), 81-96.
  • "Introduction," (with Charles F. Briggs) in A Companion to Giles of Rome. Eds. C.F. Briggs and P.S. Eardley (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 1-5.
  • "Ethics and Moral Psychology," in A Companion to Giles of Rome. Eds. C.F. Briggs and P.S. Eardley (Leiden: Brill, 2016), 173-211.
  • "Conscience and the Foundations of Morality in Ockham's Metaethics," Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie médiévales 80 (2013), 77-108.
  • "Happiness" in The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine. Eds. W. Otten and K. Pollmann (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013) (4500 word article).
  • "The Foundations of Freedom in Later Medieval Philosophy: Giles of Rome and his Contemporaries," Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (2006): 353-376.
  • "The Problem of Moral Weakness, the Propositio Magistralis and the Condemnation of 1277," Mediaeval Studies 68 (2006): 161-204 (reprinted in Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism 136 [2012]: 116-142).
  • "Conceptions of Happiness and Human Destiny in the Late Thirteenth Century," Vivarium: An International Journal for the Philosophy and Intellectual Life of the Middle Ages and Renaissance 44 (2006): 276-304.
  • "Thomas Aquinas and Giles of Rome on the Will," The Review of Metaphysics 56 (2003): 835-862.

 Reviews and Encyclopedia Entries:


  • Review of Tobias Hoffmann, Free Will and the Rebel Angels in Medieval Philosophy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020 in Catholic Historical Review forthcoming.
  • Review of Solomon Ibn Gabirol (Avicebron), The Font of Life (Fons Vitae). Trans. John A. Laumakis. Medieval Philosophical Texts in Translation 51. Milwaukee: Marquette University Press, 2014. In Journal of the History of Philosophy 53 (2015): 780-781.
  • Review of John M. Connolly, Living Without Why: Meister Eckhart's Critique of the Medieval Concept of Will. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. In Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews: 2014.12.02.
  • "Giles of Rome," Natural Law," Ontological Argument," "Walter of Bruges" in The Oxford Dictionary of the Middle Ages. 4 vols. Ed. Robert E. Bjork (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
  • Review of John Marenbon, ed. The Cambridge Companion to Boethius. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.  In Philosophy in Review  30 (2010): 118-120.
  • Review of Stephen F. Brown and Juan Carlos Flores, eds. Historical Dictionary of Medieval Philosophy and Theology. Lanham: The Scarecrow Press, 2007. In Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (2008): 636-637.
  • "Thomas Aquinas" and "John Stuart Mill," in The Chronology of World Slavery. Ed. Junius P. Rodriguez (Santa Barbara; ABC Clio, 1998).


  • Standard Research Grant, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada: Conscience and the Natural Law: From Aquinas to Luther ($35,500.00) (2008-2011).
  • Return Grant, Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Albert Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany (approx. $ 2,000.00) (July 2014).


  • 12-month Fellowship for Experienced Researchers, Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Albert Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Germany (approx. $60,000.00) (2011-2012).