The London Spinoza Circle

Lecture Series 2015

Paul Hirst Room, Politics Department, Birkbeck College, 10 Gower Street, WC1e 7HX


All Sessions 4pm – 6pm


15 October     Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen): The Free Man and the Free Market: Ethics and Economics in Ethics IV

5 November   Michael LeBuffe (University of Otago): Idealist Readings of Spinoza

19 November Daniel Schneider (University of Cambridge): Title TBC

We are launching a new seminar group  – the London Spinoza Circle – and attach the programme for this term.  If you would like more information about it please contact Alex Douglas (a.douglas@heythrop.ac.uk)  or Sue James (s.james@bbk.ac.uk), and we look forward to seeing some of you at the meetings.

The theory reading group organized by the Contemporary Political Theory Research Group at Royal Holloway and the Centre for Arts and Learning at Goldsmiths is resuming this term with a reading of Deleuze’s smaller Spinoza book, Spinoza: Practical Philosophy.  The current plan is to continue with Nietzsche and Philosophy, which would probably start January.

The details are as follows:

Day: Fridays, starting 9 October 2015

Time: 4:30-6:30pm

Location: Goldsmiths College, Education Building, Room 221

The group is likely to move back to central London (Senate House) in the Spring term.

Please feel free to pass this information on to anyone interested in participating.  Those interested need simply come along, or may email Dr. Anna Hickey-Moody, who is organizing the group for the Autumn term, at a.hickey-moody@gold.ac.uk.

Institute of Philosophy – Room N, KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

18 March 2016


“Spinoza’s Account of Agreement in Nature: From Physics to Politics”, Andrea Sangiacomo, University of Groningen

Organizers:  Sean Winkler, KU Leuven; Cody Staton, KU Leuven; Jo Van Cauter, Ghent University; Roland Breeur, KU Leuven; Karin de Boer, KU Leuven

According to one of his final letters to Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, Spinoza still had “not had the opportunity to arrange in due order anything” on the subject of physics by the time of his death in 1677. Although his physics is incomplete, the concept of the body as it appears in the so-called Physical Digression of Part 2 of the Ethics is one of Spinoza’s most radical, but also one of his most underdeveloped, concepts. However, Spinoza uses the term ‘body’ to refer to a variety of types of individuals, but it is not clear that he always uses the term in entirely the same way throughout his oeuvre. In the Ethics, he mentions the so-called simplest bodies and composite bodies and in his political writings, he refers to ‘the body of the state’. Additionally, the facies totius universi, which Spinoza mentions in a letter to Schuller, is often characterized as the infinitely expansive body of the universe. The aim of this workshop is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers working in different areas of Spinoza’s philosophy by examining, comparing and assessing Spinoza’s different accounts of the body in his metaphysical, physical, ethical and political writings.

We welcome proposals that deal with the concept of body in Spinoza’s philosophy in any respect. Topics may include:

  • Influences on Spinoza’s theory of body (from anatomy, physics, physiology, political theory, etc.)
  • Spinoza’s understanding of the relationship between physics, anatomy and/or physiology
  • A comparison of Spinoza’s various accounts of the body
  • Spinoza’s conception of the form of the body as a “union of bodies” or as a “proportion of motion and rest”
  • The distinction between living and non-living things in Spinoza’s philosophy
  • Spinoza’s theory of political bodies
  • Spinoza’s concept of the facies totius universi
  • The role of the body in Spinoza’s ethical philosophy

Please send a 300-word abstract in .doc or .docx format to workshop-spinozaonthebody@kuleuven.be by 30 November 2015. Abstracts should be prepared for double-blind review by removing any identification details. The author’s name, paper title, institutional position and affiliation should be included in the body of the e-mail. Presentations will be 25 minutes in length, and will be followed by 20 minutes of discussion. Submitters will be notified by 18 December 2015 of acceptance or rejection.

Freedom and Nature: A Spinozist Invitation

Susan James

Presidential Address to the Aristotelian Society

5th October 2015, 5:30 PM

Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1

SRN member Herb Roseman has written a program called the Spinoza Explosion. This program takes any element of the Ethics and either explodes it backward to every element that is needed for its logical proof or forward to every proposition that requires the element for its proof.

He has made the program available on his website. Message from Herb follows:

“Since humans are visually oriented, the logical flow of the Ethics can be better understood if it is depicted graphically. There are several examples of graphical representations of the five Parts of the Ethics on the Web, but because of the large number of elements and the complexity of their interactions using these representations can be inconvenient. (There are representations of Parts 1-3 on my website.)

Spinoza_Explosion is a Python 2.7 script that can be used interactively to create representations focused on single elements of the Ethics. There are two types of “explosions:” forward and backward.  Forward creates a graphical representation of all propositions that directly or indirectly require the element for its proof. Backward creates a representation of all elements (propositions, definitions, axioms, etc) directly or indirectly necessary for the proof of the selected element.

Documentation for the program and the program itself can be downloaded by navigating to the Spinoza Project on my website: sites.google.com/site/hroseman. If there are any questions please contact hroseman@gmail.com.”

First Carinthian Workshop on Topics from Early Modern Philosophy to Kant: Cognition, Self-Knowledge and the Self

 Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt, Austria, September 18 – 19, 2015

 Supported by the research council of the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt with sponsoring provided by Privatstiftung Kärntner Sparkasse

Keynote Speakers: Eric Watkins, UCSD; Christian Barth, HU Berlin


Friday September 18, 2015, Room I. 1. 44

Session 1

9:00 – 10:15
Olivér István Tóth, Eotvos-Lorand-University Budapest and Ernst-Mach-Fellow at the Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt: The epistemic foundations of Spinoza’s theory of consciousness

Julia Borcherding, Yale University: The Nature of Things and the Nature of Mind: Leibniz on Self-Knowledge as a Source of Metaphysical Insight

First keynote speaker: Christian Barth, Humboldt University Berlin: Inner Sentiment and Self-Knowledge in Leibniz
Session 2

Martin Lenz, University of Groningen: Language and Cognition in Locke

Dávid Bartha, Central European University Budapest: Berkeley on Self-Experience

Friday Evening, conference dinner sponsored by the History of Philosophy Book Prize 2011

Saturday, September 19, 2015, Room I. 1. 44

Session 3

Tamar Levanon, Bar-Ilan University Ramat Gan: Reid on the Duration of the Self

Second Keynote Speaker: Eric Watkins, UC San Diego: Knowledge and Cognition in Kant


Session 4

Bernhard Ritter, University of Klagenfurt:
The Subject in Kant’s Refutation of Idealism
Giuseppe Motta, Universität Graz:
„Was Objektive Einheit des Selbstbewusstseins sei“. A Structural Analysis of § 18: Critique of the Pure Reason, B 139-140.v






Univ.-Prof. Dr. Ursula Renz


2-4 October 2015 Central European University, Budapest

Friday, 2 October 2015

11.15 Charlie Huenemann (Utah State University): “London, 1641: or, the Philosophical Revolution That Wasn’t”

12.30 Vili Lähteenmäki (Helsinki): “Conscientia and Self-knowledge in Descartes”

15.00 Hanoch Ben-Yami (CEU): “The Development of Descartes’ Idea of Structural Representation”

16.15 Ethel Rocha (Rio de Janeiro): “Simplicity of God and the Rationality of the World in Descartes”

17.30 Shelley Weinberg (Illinois): “Locke on Moral Motivation”

Saturday, 3 October 2015

10.00 Anna Vaughn (The University of Utah): “Making Sense of the Molyneux Problem”

11.15 Martin Lin (Rutgers): “Spinoza and the Mark of the Mental”

12.30 Ohad Nachtomy (Bar-Ilan University) and Andrea Sangiacomo (Groningen): “Spinoza’s Accounts of Immanent Causality: Passivity and Activity, the Short Treatise and the Ethics”

15.00 Paul Lodge (Oxford): “Leibniz’s Esoteric Promise of Universal Salvation”

16.15 John Whipple (University of Illinois,Chicago): “Leibniz on Fundamental Ontology: Conciliatory or Exoteric?”

17.30 Yaron Wolf (Oxford): “Alciphron and Berkeley’s Theory of Sense Perception”
Sunday, 4 October 2015

10.00 Jennifer Wright (King’s College London): “Grotesque Blundering or Something More? Reinterpreting Hume on the Structure of Time”

11.15 Anna Tomaszewska (Krakow): “Radical Enlightenment and Kant’s Complicated Relation to Spinoza”

12.30 Valtteri Viljanen (Turku): “Kant on Moral Agency: The Conflict-of-Forces Conception Revisited”
Organizing committee:

Michael Griffin (CEU)

Vili Lähteenmäki (Helsinki) vili.lahteenmaki@JYU.FI

Valtteri Viljanen (Turku)


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