Identity and Individuation in Early Modern Philosophy


Doctoral Workshop with Udo Thiel: Identity and Individuation in Early Modern Philosophy

Date: 4th June 2015

Venue: Philosophisches Seminar Universität Zürich, Zürichbergstrasse 43, 8044 Zürich, Switzerland (Room ZUP U-8) Keynote Speaker: Prof. Dr. Udo Thiel (University of Graz)

Organisers: Lukas Winiker (University of Zurich), David Wörner (University of Zurich)

Scholastic authors in general sought to account for the metaphysics of identity by appealing to the Aristotelian framework of matter and form. However, starting in the seventeenth century, this framework came to be looked upon with growing suspicion, and new accounts of identity were called for. Among early modern thinkers, questions about identity thus often lay at the very heart of some of their most innovative and intriguing proposals. Moreover, these questions interrelate in various ways with other central topics of early modern metaphysics, such as the natures of thinking and material substances.

This workshop will provide doctoral students working on early modern philosophy with the opportunity to present their work on identity and/or individuation and discuss it with Udo Thiel, one of the most renowned experts in the field. Any discussion of at least one of the following questions will be welcome: How did a given early modern author conceive of the identity of material things? How did a given early modern author conceive of the identity of immaterial things or persons? What role did the concept of identity play for a given early modern author’s more general metaphysical or epistemological commitments?

PhD candidates may submit abstracts of no more than 350 words (PDFs only) to The final material should be suitable for a 20-30 minute presentation followed by a discussion of 30-40 minutes. Submissions should be prepared for blind review with a cover page stating the author’s name and institutional affiliation, the paper title, and the authors contact information, including email address, phone number, and mailing address.

Deadline for submissions: 15th April 2015


Attendance is free, but registration is necessary. Please send an e-mail to (stating your full name, your academic title and your institutional affiliation). Please also state whether you wish to attend the dinner after the workshop.

A few travel bursaries for Swiss graduate students are available. If you wish to be considered please submit a travel budget in addition to your abstract.

The workshop is sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s