Symposium: Spinoza’s Translations (Minneapolis)

Spinoza Scholarship Group Symposium

Spinoza’s Translations: New Directions in Spinoza Scholarship

April 15-16, 2016, Minneapolis


Friday, April 15

WORKSHOP I  |  Kiarina Kordela  |  Macalester College

4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Spinoza’s Sovereignty: Fantasy and the Immanent Decision of Interpretation


 Saturday, April 16

WORKSHOP II  |  Warren Montag  |  Occidental College

1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

 The Place of Hatred in the Theologico-Political Apparatus


WORKSHOP III  |  Hasana Sharp  |  McGill University

3:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Spinoza in the Anthropocene



5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Do Not Add to His Words: The Problem of Translation in Chapter Seven of Spinoza’s Theological-Political Treatise



Department of Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature

 135 Nicholson Hall

Cesare Casarino:, Anjali Ganapathy:

Pre-circulated workshop papers  | RSVP:


New book engaging with Spinoza’s Hebrew Grammar

A new book has been published (in French) that engages substantially with Spinoza’s Compendium of Hebrew Grammar. A short English description follows. Further information from

Hebrew – From Sacred to Mother Tongue

by Keren Mock

Prefaces by Julia Kristeva and Pierre-Marc de Biasi

How is a new mother tongue formed? What are the materials and the circumstances that permit the appearance of a “new” mother tongue? According to what process does an ancient language appear and “modernize” in order to be adopted and practiced by its speakers? An everyday language whose basis is spiritual, cultural and religious, Hebrew allows one to assess the genesis of a contemporary mother tongue. Proceeding with an archeological search which leads us from the present to the most ancient strata, the author dialogs with two of the greatest Israeli writers, Aharon Appelfeld and Sami Michael, enters into the lexicographic “factory” of Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, and returns to the philosophical foundations of secular Hebrew by means of a new reading of Baruch Spinoza’s Compendium of Hebrew Grammar.

“Rarely has a work been produced with such skill and originality over such vast fields, and, by means of an interdisciplinary approach, responded to political and ethical challenges which are as current as they are essential.” Julia Kristeva

“From psychoanalysis to semiotics, from intertextuality to the history of ideas, from genetic criticism to philosophy texts, this text prompts us to a happy and generous effective transdisciplinarity as to a veritable intellectual feast.” Pierre-Marc de Biasi

Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VII


5-6 May 2016

Keynote Speakers:

Matthew Daniel Eddy (Durham)

Sylvana Tomaselli (Cambridge)



Thursday, 5 May

9.00-9.15     Welcome and Coffee.

Session I: Hobbes and Locke

9.15-10.00     Maximilian Jaede (St. Andrews), Hobbes’s Critique of Natural Sociability Reconsidered

10.00-10.45   Tim Stuart-Buttle (Cambridge), Locke on the “Two Provinces of Knowledge

10.45-11.00     Break

Session II: Cambridge Platonism

11.00-11.45     Matthew Leisinger (Yale), Cudworth’s Moral Vision

11.45-12.30     Christ Meyns (Cambridge/University College London), Henry More against Monopsychism

12.30-14.00     Lunch

Keynote 1

14.00-15.00     Sylvana Tomaselli (Cambridge), Women and Political Philosophy in Les siècles de la femme

15.00-15.30     Break

Session III: Spinoza

15.30-16.15     Alex Silverman (Chicago), The Disappearance of “Substance”: A Textual Oddity in Spinoza’s Corpus

16.15-17.00     Alexander Douglas (Heythrop College/St. Andrews), Spinoza and Money

17.00-17.15     Break

Special Session: SSEMP Essay Prize winner

17.15-18.00     Takaharu Oda (Groningen), Berkeley’s Arguable Concurrentism


Friday, 6 May

9.30-9.45       Coffee

Session IV: Bayle and Leibniz

9.45-10.30       Mara van der Lugt (Göttingen), Pain, Pessimism and the Problem of Evil in Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire (1696)

10.30-11.15     Christopher Noble (Villanova), Leibniz on Knowledge and Action in Essais de théodicée, § 403.

11.15-11.30     Break

Keynote 2

11.30-12.30     Matthew Daniel Eddy (Durham), Children, Science, and the Graphic Foundations of Reason, 1760-1800

12.30-14.00     Lunch

Session V: The Scottish Enlightenment

14.00-14.45     Alessio Vaccari (Sapienza, Rome), Hume on Resentment, Justice, and the Origins of Society

14.45-15.30     Sonia Boussange-Andrei (Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne), On Adam Ferguson’s Critique of Adam Smith’s Theory of Sympathy

15.30-16.00     Break

Session VI: The French Enlightenment

16.00-16.45     Jeremy Dunham (Sheffield), Condillac on the Acquisition of Cognitive Habits

16.45-17.30     Jared Holley (Chicago), Refined Epicureanism and Rousseau’s Political Thought



James Harris (University of St. Andrews) Mogens Lærke (CNRS, UMR 5317, ENS de Lyon)


The event is sponsored by:

Scots Philosophical Association

Institute for Intellectual History, St. Andrews Philosophy department, St. Andrews British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP) IHRIM, UMR 5317, ENS de Lyon


For further information, please write Mogens Laerke ( or James Harris (

Masterclass with Yitzhak Melamed, ENS Lyon

Masterclass with Prof. Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University)

Spinoza’s Cogitata metaphysica

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon, 6-9 June 2016

This intensive four-day masterclass will be taught in English by one of the most prominent Anglo-American Spinoza scholars today, Professor Yitzhak Melamed from Johns Hopkins University, in collaboration with Mogens Lærke, researcher at the CNRS (IHRIM, UMR 5317, ENS de Lyon). The class will be entirely dedicated to the reading of Spinoza’s Cogitata metaphysica. The Cogitata Metaphysica, the appendix to Spinoza’s 1663 book on Descartes’ Principles of Philosophy is a text whose precise nature is still unclear after more than 350 years of scholarship. The nature of this text and specifically the question whether it represents Spinoza’s views at the time of its composition will stand at the center of this course. We will read closely the text in three languages (Latin, English, and French) and attempt to reconstruct Spinoza’s arguments and the philosophical conversations exhibited in the text.

The masterclass is open to doctoral students, up to a maximum of 10. We accept applicants from both ENS de Lyon and other institutions, including abroad. The class can also be validated as a course for master students (M2) at the ENS de Lyon. Some prior knowledge of Spinoza’s philosophy is desirable. Active command of English is indispensable.

Applicants should send a one-page letter of motivation to Mogens Lærke ( by April 1st 2016. Attendance is free, but inscription and/or acceptance of proposal is mandatory. Please note that there are no funds available to cover cost of travel or lodging for non-local participants.

The event is organized as a collaboration between the Institut d’histoire des représentations et des idées dans les modernités (IHRIM, UMR 5317) at the ENS de Lyon, and Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore.

Spinoza’s Politics: NASS Group Session at APA Central, Chicago

North American Spinoza Society Group Session at the APA-Central Chicago

Thursday, March 3rd, 2015 9:00am-Noon

“Spinoza’s Politics”

Michael Lebuffe (University of Otago) “Reason and Religion in the Citizen of Spinoza’s State”

James Ong (High Point University) “The Philosophical and Political Significance of Spinoza’s ‘free people’”

Céline Hervet (Université de Picardie-Jules Verne) “Councils, Syndics, Senate and the Power of Speech in Spinoza’s political philosophy: a Naturalistic Source of Deliberative Democracy?”

James Sikkema (McMaster University) “Joining Forces: Towards a Virtual-Political Mereology in Spinoza”

Sandra Field (Yale-NUS) “Aristocracy and the Logic of Spinoza’s Political Philosophy”

Edwin Curley (Michigan) “On the Social Contract in Spinoza”

Workshop: A Day with Spinoza, Groningen

The Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought ( is pleased to announce the workshop:

A day with Spinoza: Bodies, Cognition and Society

Faculty of Philosophy, Room Gamma

Oude Boteringestraat 52 – 9712 SC Groningen (NL)

20th April 2016


The workshop aims to bring together scholars at different stages of their career. Participants will present their own works in progress by stimulating discussion on Spinoza’s complex and multifaceted understanding of bodies, cognition and society.



9.00-10.00 Christopher Thomas (University of Aberdeen): From Complex Bodies to a Theory of Art: Spinoza on Beauty and Artistic Bodies.

10.00-11.00 Oliver Istvan Toth (Eotvos Lorand University Budapest): Revisiting the ‘pancreas problem’ in Spinoza from a historical perspective – the case of memories

– Break –

11.15-12.15 Martin Lenz (Groningen): Intersubjectivity in Early Modern Philosophy: Spinoza on the Division of Cognitive Labour

12.15-13.15 Michael A. Rosenthal (University of Washington, Seattle, USA): Spinoza on ‘Beings of Reason’ (Entia Rationis) and the Analogical Imagination

– Lunch Break –

14.45-15.45 Matthew Homan (Christopher Newport University, VA – USA): True Beings of Reason in Spinoza

15.45- 16.45 Liba Kaucky (London University): On the Role of True Worship for True Religion and Political Stability

– Break –

17.00-18.00 Andrea Sangiacomo (Groningen): How to make a State more rational? Spinoza and minorities.

Attendance is free, but registration is appreciated. To register please send a message to

Full Programme: Life and Death in Early Modern Philosophy

“Life and Death in Early Modern Philosophy” coming up in London in April. Registration is open and available at

Life and Death in Early Modern Philosophy

Life and Death in Early Modern Philosophy

14th – 16th April 2016

Conference of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy and the British Society for the History of Philosophy in association with the Birkbeck Institute for the Humanities, KCL and the Wellcome Trust


Thursday 14th April 2016

The Great Hall, King’s College London, Strand, London WC2R 2LS

2.30-4.0: Tea and Registration in the Foyer of the Great Hall.

4.0 – 4.30: Susan James, Welcome and Introduction.

4.30- 6.0: Plenary Lecture: Michael Moriarty, The thought of death changes all our ideas and condemns our plans.


Friday 15th April 2016

Birkbeck College, Clore Management Centre, Torrington Square, London WC1E 7JL.

9.30am – 11am: Plenary Lecture:  Ursula Renz, Our Consciousness of Being Alive as a Source of Knowledge.

11.15am – 12.45pm:

Session 1: 

Meghan Robison, But a Movement of Limbs:  On the Movement of life…

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SEP-FEP London 2016: Call for Papers

This is not a Spinoza conference as such, but Spinoza papers with a continental philosophy angle are usually welcome.

Society for European Philosophy

2016 SEP-FEP Joint Annual Conference

Regent’s University London

25-27 August 2016

The Joint Annual Conference of the Society for European Philosophy and the Forum for European Philosophy in 2016 will be hosted by Regent’s University London, UK.

Plenary Speakers:

Karen Barad (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Elie During (Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense) (Bio in English here)

John Protevi (Louisiana State University)

The SEP/FEP conference is the largest annual event in Europe that aims to bring together researchers, teachers, and students from different disciplines, interested in all areas of contemporary European philosophy.

Abstract proposals for papers and panels are invited in all areas of contemporary European philosophy. Proposals from academics, graduate students and independent scholars are all welcome.

Submission Instructions:

Abstract proposals for individual papers should be no more than 250-300 words and include author and institutional affiliation.

Panel proposals should include a brief panel description of no more…

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CFP: Thinking with Spinoza about Education

Special issue of the journal Educational Philosophy and Theory: Thinking with Spinoza about Education: a new materialist ethics.

This special issue will take up recent reworkings of Spinoza’s (1632-1677) Ethics to address the turn to materialism and the non-human in research on teaching and learning. Spinoza has recently come into focus in the social sciences through the insightful reworking of his ideas by scholars such as Gilles Deleuze, Etienne Balibar, Antonio Negri and feminist scholars such as Jane Bennett, Rosi Braidotti, Elizabeth Grosz, Claire Colebrook and Catherine Malabou. These scholars plug into Spinoza’s ideas in order to propose a more than human ethics, and they thereby set the stage for new directions in the philosophy of teaching and learning.

Papers are invited that cover a range of relevant concerns, responding to shifts in education research as it takes up new technics, including but not limited to the proliferation of new forms of data saturation, global reform movements, new forms of corporate and managerial governance, pharmaceutical and neurological interventions, and the use of smart software and machine learning. The thread amongst the manuscripts will be the ideas of Spinoza that are put to work on these various problems.

A call for papers is open until March 15. For full details, see here.

For further information, contact Lars Bang Jensen <>