Meeting Spinoza seminar

Seminar: ‘Meeting Spinoza: Books, Letters, Networks, Personal Encounters’

October 5-6, 2017

Fundatie van de Vrijvrouwe van Renswoude
Agnietenstraat 5, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Keynote speakers:

Raphaële Andrault (CNRS, IHRIM, ENS-Lyon)
Mogens Laerke (CNRS, IHRIM, ENS-Lyon)
Steven Nadler (Wisconsin-Madison)
Antonella Del Prete (Tuscia University)


Attendance is free, but due to the limited seating capacity please register by email ( on or before October 1.


Albert Gootjes
Piet Steenbakkers
Jeroen van de Ven



Thursday, October 5

9:30-10:00      Registration and coffee

10:00-11:30    Session 1: Stoic Books and Letters

  • Adam Smrcz (Eotvos Lorand University Budapest / Hungarian Academy of Sciences Budapest) and Oliver Istvan Toth (Eotvos Lorand University Budapest / Alpen-Adria Universität Klagenfurt): ‘The Missing Books from Spinoza’s Library: The Case of Justus Lipsius, Spinoza, and Stoicism’
  • Christopher Quintana (Villanova): ‘Spinoza’s Stoic Letters’

11:30-11:45    Coffee break

11:45-12:45    Keynote 1

  • Steven Nadler (University of Wisconsin-Madison): “Spinoza and Menasseh ben Israel: Facts and Fictions”

12:45-14:15    Lunch

14:15-15:45    Session 2: The Amsterdam and Leiden Networks

  • Russ Leo (Princeton University): ‘Baruch Spinoza, Lodewijk Meyer, Nil Volentibus Arduum, and the Philosophy of Neoclassicism’
  • Eric Jorink (Huygens ING / Leiden University): ‘Spinoza, Steno, and Swammerdam and the Leiden Medical Faculty’

15:45-16:00    Tea break

16:00-17:30    Session 3: Concerned Calvinists

  • Esther Shallan (Oxford Brookes University): ‘Ill-argued, Ill-met: Spinoza’s Correspondence and Encounter with Willem van Blijenbergh’
  • Matthias Mangold (ETF Leuven): ‘Salomon van Til (1643-1713) and the Reception of Spinoza among Late Seventeenth-Century Dutch Aristocrats’

19:00-21:00    Conference dinner

Friday, October 6

9:00-9:15        Coffee

9:15-10:45      Session 5: Meeting the Natural Philosophers

  • Chris Meyns (Utrecht University): ‘Spinoza’s Circle of Optics’
  • Daniel Schneider (University of Haifa): ‘A Meeting Once Removed: Boyle and Spinoza, the Worm and Blood’

10:45-11:00    Coffee break

11:00-12:00    Keynote 2:

  • Antonella Del Prete (Tuscia University): ‘Cartesian Fluctuations: Van Velthuysen and Spinoza’

12:00-13:30    Lunch break

13:30-15:00    Session 4: Friends or Foes?

  • Edwin Curley (University of Michigan): ‘Overcoming Enmity: Spinoza’s Correspondence with Van Velthuysen (Ep. 42, 43, and 69)’
  • Maxime Rovere (Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro): ‘Resisting Spinoza: Bouwmeester, Van den Enden, and Kerckrinck’s Objections to Spinoza’s Intellectualism’

15:00-15:15    Tea break

15:15-16:00    Session 6: Scholastic Encounters

  • Stephen Zylstra (University of Toronto): ‘Spinoza on Emanation and Immanent Causation: Assessing the Influence of Scholasticism’

16:00-17:00    Keynote 3:

  • Raphaële Andrault (CNRS, IHRIM, ENS-Lyon) and Mogens Laerke (CNRS, IHRIM, ENS-Lyon): ‘The Paris Constellations, 1665-1679: Experimentalism and Epistemology’


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