Moira Gatens at the London Spinoza Circle, 7th February 2019

At the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle on Thursday 7th February 2019, 3:00 – 5:00pm, resourceProf. Moira Gatens (University of Sydney) will present her paper:

“Spinoza’s free citizen meets Wollstonecraft‘s feminist republican”

Dreyfus Room, Birkbeck, University of London, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ


I offer an account of Spinoza’s free man as exemplifying the affective as well as rational capacities needed for autonomous self-realization, relationally conceived. But his account contains a sad flaw, namely, Spinoza’s inability to recognize women as co-entitled to political freedom and equality. I relate this limitation to his failure to realize the full potential of his relational ontology and the true scope of a virtue that he values highly: fortitudo (or strength of mind). Fortitudo has a double aspect: it embodies the virtue of self-care (animositas) and the correlative virtue of care for others (generositas). I then turn to Mary Wollstonecraft’s understanding of the co-constitution of self and other and the role such understanding plays in her conception of the attainment of genuine autonomy. For her, the exercise of virtue depends upon freedom in both one’s personal and one’s political life. Her vision of an inclusive commonwealth – one that recognises the need for all to develop fortitudo – stands as a corrective to Spinoza’s error. We cannot achieve a virtuous republic if the relationship between the sexes lacks virtue. When combined, Spinoza’s and Wollstonecraft’s republican views tell a rich story about individuals, affect, autonomy, and the institutional practices that constrain or enable the flourishing of important republican virtues.

All welcome and no registration required.


CFA: Australasian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy


 Australasian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy (2019)

 Call for Abstracts

The University of Queensland (UQ) is delighted to host the second Australasian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy (ASEMP), in Brisbane, Australia, from November 25th to 27th, 2019.

An optional extended stay from November 28th through to the 31st is planned for the island of Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island or colloquially, “Straddie”).

For this conference, we seek papers on those early modern concepts, theories, or figures that transformed standard ways of thinking in the period, or that changed the form and nature of philosophy itself.

The panel themes are (1) *Women and Power*; (2)* Metaphysics, Science and Religion; and *(3) *State and Secularism, *and papers fitting those themes are encouraged. Papers on other topics relating to the broad theme of *Transformations in Early Modern Philosophy* are also welcome.

Deadline for Abstracts: March 1, 2019. Successful participants will be notified by April 1, 2019.

Abstract length: 500 words.

Abstracts may be submitted through the conference website or to the conference assistant, Ms Laura Pham, (

Invited Speakers:

Professor Lilli Alanen (Uppsala University)

Professor Marguerite Deslauriers (McGill University)

Professor John Carriero (University of California, Los Angeles)

Professor Calvin Normore (University of California, Los Angeles)

Professor Margaret Schabas (University of British Columbia)




CFA:6th Finnish-Hungarian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

Call for Abstracts 

The Sixth Finnish-Hungarian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

University of Helsinki

6–7 June 2019


Submission deadline: March 1

In a joint effort by philosophers in Finland and Hungary, the Seminar was founded to promote international cooperation among scholars of seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophy. The previous meeting was held in 2018 in Budapest at the Central European University. This will be the sixth meeting in a continuing series of seminars; for more information, please see the website

We invite prospective participants to send an anonymized abstract of about 500 words in .pdf format on any topic in early modern philosophy to<> no later than the 1st of March. Please, indicate your name, university affiliation, and the title of your paper in the body of your email message.

Completed papers should aim at a reading time of 40 minutes or less. Please note that FHSEMP cannot provide funding for travel or accommodation.

Invited speaker:

Alison Simmons (Harvard)

For further information, please contact Vili Lähteenmäki at<>.

Organizing and program committee:

Vili Lähteenmäki (Helsinki), Mike Griffin (CEU), Judit Szalai (ELTE), and Valtteri Viljanen (Turku)



Reminder: Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VI

The Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VI <> (DSEMP) will take place on *29–30 May 2019*, at the *Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen*, Groningen, Netherlands.

The DSEMP brings together advanced students and established scholars to discuss the latest work in early modern philosophy, broadly conceived. Building on the success of the previous 2014–2018 editions, which gathered philosophers from all over the world, the Seminar offers workshop-style collaborations in order to stimulate scholarly exchange. The language of presentation and discussion is English.

Keynote speakers:

Katherine Brading (Duke University)

Marleen Rozemond (University of Toronto)


Submission guidelines: We welcome abstracts prepared for peer review onany topic related to early modern philosophy, broadly understood (roughly the period 1500–1800 CE). We are especially interested in presentations that discuss philosophical issues or works that have received less sustained scholarly attention, including, but not limited to: non-canonical authors and traditions, anonymous texts, and methodological reflections on doing Early Modern philosophy.

Please submit abstracts (400 words max.) to our EasyChair page <> (first time users will be asked to register with EasyChair).

Deadline for abstract submission: *10 January 2019* (11.59 pm – Amsterdam time). Decisions will follow by the *end of March.* We will send reviewers’ reports with useful feedback on abstracts to all who wish to receive this.

Attendance is free and all are welcome, especially students. No financial assistance can be provided to support travel expenses and accommodation.

Contact: If you have questions, please send an email to Laura Georgescu <> (


Laura Georgescu (University of Groningen)

Andrea Sangiacomo (University of Groningen)

The Dutch Seminar is part of the Activities of the Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought ( and it is supported by Lodi Nauta’s Spinoza Prize Project <—laureaat-nwo-spinozapremie-2016?lang=en>


Spinoza and Aesthetic Concepts: Sydney

Final reminder that Western Sydney University and the University of Sydney are hosting a one-day conference on Spinoza and Aesthetic Concepts on Friday 7th December 2018.

Date: Friday 7th December 2018

Venue: Female Orphan School, Cnr James Ruse Dr and Victoria Rd.

Parramatta South Campus

Western Sydney University


9:30am                Conference convenes

9.45am                Introduction: Peter Hutchings.

10.00 – 11.00am Opening keynote – Genevieve Lloyd, Spinoza: A Philosopher of the Sublime?

11.00 – 11.30am  Morning tea

11.30 – 12.30pm  Moira Gatens and Anthony Uhlmann, To Be Done with Hatred: Art as a Plan for Living

12.30 – 1.30pm    Lunch

1.30 – 2.30pm      Christopher Thomas, Spinoza on Music and Melancholy

2.30 – 3.30pm      Aurelia Armstrong, Spinoza’s therapeutic aesthetics

3.30 – 4.00pm      Afternoon Tea

4.00 – 5.00pm      Closing keynote – Warren Montag, The Power of Imagining Nonexistent Things as Being Present: Spinoza’s Fictions

Conference website:

All welcome.

This conference is a free event.

Information about the Female Orphan School, including travel, is available here:

Please forward inquiries to:<>

The conference is a part of the ARC Discovery project Spinoza and Literature for Life: A Practical Theory of Art.

London Spinoza Circle: Clare Carlisle on 6th December 2018

clare pic 3

At the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle on Thursday 6th December, 3:00 – 5:00pm, we are pleased to have Dr. Clare Carlisle (King’s College London) who will speak on

George Eliot’s Spinoza

Gordon Room (G34), Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU


In 1856, Marian Evans — the writer who would shortly become known as George Eliot — completed the first English translation of Spinoza’s Ethics.  This paper will explore the circumstances of George Eliot’s translation, discussing the reception of Spinoza’s philosophy in 19th-century England and identifying key areas of affinity between Spinozism and George Eliot’s own thinking.  It will also suggest how George Eliot’s close engagement with the Ethics influenced her fiction writing, giving particular attention to her emphasis on human interdependence, and her views on the formation of characters and relationships.

All welcome and no registration is required.

Spinoza a Paris 8

You are invited to join us Thursday November 29th from 6pm-8pm at the Université Paris 8 (room J004) for a talk by Knox Peden, entitled “*Spinoza et Augustin dans l’histoire du réalisme politique*.” Peden’s talk will be in French. Please see below and our website *Spinoza à Paris 8 <>* for more information:


*JEUDI 29 NOVEMBRE 2018, 18H-20H*

*Université Paris 8, Salle J004*

*Knox Peden*, *« Spinoza et Augustin dans l’histoire du réalisme politique »*

“Dans l’histoire moderne de la pensée politique, la tradition dite « réaliste » s’oppose au libéralisme par l’accent mis sur les dynamiques du pouvoir aux dépens d’un souci pour le rôle de la morale dans la politique.

Aujourd’hui on dit que le réalisme qui était au centre de la discipline universitaire américaine des Relations Internationales pendant la guerre froide a ses racines dans la pensée européenne de l’entre-deux-guerres et en particulier la théologie politique de Carl Schmitt. L’idée est que ce réalisme est réactionnaire au fond et que les mutations dans l’histoire du réalisme – du réalisme classique de Hans Morgenthau au réalisme structural de Kenneth Waltz – ne changent rien à ce trait. Il est évident que les questions concernant la sécularisation de la politique et le rôle de la normativité dans la pensée politique sont en jeu dans cette histoire des idées. Le point de départ de cette intervention est la comparaison que Waltz a établi dans ses œuvres de jeunesse entre la pensée politique d’Augustin et celle de Spinoza. En suivant le théologien américain Reinhold Niebuhr, qui a soutenu qu’Augustin avait été le premier réaliste politique, Waltz estime que les deux sont d’accord dans leur compréhension de la politique et de la psychologie humaine, tandis que l’un poursuit une route théologique et l’autre une route empirique. C’est un jugement ambigu. Mais il n’en reste pas moins que, hormis les proximités supposées de leur visions, leurs métaphysiques sont tout à fait incommensurables. Tout cela revient à poser la question de la possibilité d’un réalisme séculaire, c’est-à-dire la possibilité du spinozisme politique.” – KP.


Knox PEDEN est Gerry Higgins Lecturer in the History of Philosophy à l’Université de Melbourne. Il a publié *Spinoza Contra Phenomenology : French Rationalism from Cavaillès to Deleuze *(Stanford University Press, 2014), et il est auteur d’articles sur le spinozisme, l’histoire de la pensée française, et la théorie et la politique de l’historiographie.


*Programme 2019 (séances à venir)*

*Jeudi 14 mars 2019 : Mar**í**a Luisa de la **CÁMARA* *« Spinoza tragique »*

*Jeudi 28 mars 2019 : Frédéric LORDON* *« Spinoza: La condition anarchique »*

*Jeudi 11 avril 2019 : Pedro LOMBA* *« Une athéologie du politique: Lecture schmittienne de l’anti-cartésianisme de Spinoza »*

*Jeudi 16 mai 2019 : Henri ATLAN* *« Spinoza et la biologie contemporaine »*

*Jeudi 20 juin 2019 : Antonio NEGRI* *« Quelques réflexions sur la peur chez Spinoza »*


*Séminaire International et Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Spinozistes* <>

*Organisé par **Charles Ramond* <>*, **Jack Stetter* <>*, et Mario Donoso <> avec le soutien de l’EA 4008 LLCP.* Responsable Audio-Vidéo *Carmen Alves*>*.*

02, rue de la Liberté, Saint-Denis (93). Métro « Saint-Denis Université ».

Entrée libre. Se munir d’une pièce d’identité.

New Spinoza Studies series from Edinburgh University Press

Spinoza Studies: a new book series from Edinburgh University Press.

Series editor: Filippo del Lucchese

This series will broaden the understanding of Spinoza in the Anglophone world by translating central works by Continental scholars into English for the first time. These philosophers explore Spinoza’s most important themes in detail, opening up new possibilities for reading and interpreting Spinoza.

Two books have been published in the series so far:

Vittorio Morfino, The Spinoza-Machiavelli Encounter (trans. Dave Mesing)

Chantal Jaquet, Affects, Actions, and Passions in Spinoza (trans. Tatiana Reznichenko)

For more information and to order, visit the EUP Spinoza Studies webpage.

PhD funding in political philosophy at Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen is pleased to offer the following funded PhD positions. Projects on Spinoza and related topics are welcome. Please note that in addition to the project described in detail below, there are 13 other research areas in which applications are welcome, details of which can be found through the links below.


Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD positions at the University of Aberdeen

Political Concepts in the World – Horizons of the ‘Political’

The University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme, is delighted to offer 6 Early Stage Researcher (PhD) positions, lasting 3 years starting in September 2019, for ground-breaking research on how political concepts, such as nation, citizenship, civil society and rule of law, are used in the world.

ESRs will complete a PhD with an inter-disciplinary supervisory team and benefit from a world-class training programme, including placements with one or more of our 23 international partners.  They will also actively participate in the activities of the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and the Rule of Law (CISRUL). We welcome applicants from across the social sciences and humanities, including anthropology, cultural and literary studies, education, history, legal theory and socio-legal studies, philosophy, politics, religious studies, sociology, and theology.

ESRs will be employed by the University on a salary of £26,489.40 per annum, and will be eligible for a range of additional benefits including ample travel and research funding.

One of the topics that we invite applicants to consider is Horizons of the ‘Political’

This field builds on debates of recent years in social and political theory by considering the concept of the ‘political’ itself. On the one hand, a range of scholars have drawn on Carl Schmitt’s conceptions of the ‘political’ and ‘sovereignty’. This trend includes numerous theoretical re-evaluations of Schmitt’s thought, but also contemporary adaptations of his basic approach to politics by thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, Leo Strauss, William Cavanaugh and Adam Kotsko. The PhD may choose to explore the reasons for the renewed interest in this tradition, as well as particular ways in which it is deployed to support policy and constitutional agendas. An alternative is to focus on critics of this tradition, who argue that Schmitt’s paradigm equates politics with power- struggle, encouraging a zero-sum competition to assert a sovereign power that overcomes every other power, and worry that the propensity to collapse politics into sovereign power erases the category of the ‘social’ in discussions of the state. In recent debates within critical theory, this tension is expressed between those who advocate egalitarian emancipation in terms of a horizontal ‘multitude’ (Hardt and Negri), and those who advocate a new counter-hegemonic strategy to challenge the dominant sovereign forces (Laclau, Mouffe, Žižek). The PhD may choose to explore these positions by taking  them to empirical context by considering how resistance and oppositions are dealt with in different policy fields (like security or migration).

Other indicative topics listed in the Further Particulars are

  • “We the people” beyond the nation-state
  • The “nation” resurgent?
  • Traditions of “citizenship” within and beyond Europe
  • Rule of law and constitutionalism
  • Sovereignty and the state
  • Teaching political concepts in post-truth times
  • The ‘democracy Phoenix’ – are young people changing the meaning of democracy
  • Protest, populism and social movements
  • Digitalising ‘democracy’ – transforming the concept?
  • Civility and understanding the political
  • ‘Radicalisation’, ‘extremism’ and the role of ‘civil society’
  • Conceptualizing secularism, post-secularism and religion itself
  • The politics of ‘religious pluralism

These are indicative topics – applicants are free to propose their own projects on how political concepts are used in the world.

Candidates are required to meet the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Early Stage Researcher eligibility criteria. In particular, at the time of the appointment candidates must have had less than 4 years full-time equivalent research experience and must not have already obtained a PhD.

Additionally, they must not have resided in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the appointment.

Any appointment will be offered a contract of employment that will be conditional upon satisfactory references, a 12 month probation period, the fulfilment of any conditions specified in the offer of a place on a PhD programme, and confirmation of the right to work in the UK and ability to secure a valid visa, if required, from UK Visas and Immigration.

Deadline is 20th January 2019. Please click here for Further Particulars and details of how to apply.


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754326.