Past Event

The Shifting Status of Conjecture from Law to Literature

April 26, 2021
5:15 PM - 6:15 PM
Online Event

Presented by Kathy Eden,

Chavkin Family Professor of English Literature and Professor of Classics at Columbia University 

Monday, April 26th @ 5:15pm EST

Register via Zoom Add to Calendar

Additional Text:


Abstract: Traditionally ascribed to Hermagoras (2nd C BCE) for use in the law courts and later developed by, among others, Cicero and Quintilian as the infrastructure of argumentation, the so-called status system, with its three foundational questions—conjectural (“did it happen?” [sitne]), definitional (“what happened?” [quid sit]), and qualitative (“what kind of action was it?” [quale sit])—leaves a deep and pervasive impact on the analysis of human agency from antiquity to the early modern period. Focusing on the first of the three status, the conjectural, and more precisely on its two main topics, will and power (voluntas and potestas), this talk will chart their itinerary both in theory and practice from legal through theological to literary discourse, with special attention to Augustine and Petrarch.



Title: "The Shifting Status of Conjecture from Law to Literature" Kathy Eden

When: Apr 26, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) 


Register in advance for this meeting: 


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Contact Information

Pamela Rodman