Author: spinozaresearchnetwork

Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy IX


University of Aberdeen 24-25 May 2018

The Sir Duncan Rice Library, Seminar Room 224.

Key note speakers:

Felicity Green (University of Edinburgh)

Martin Lenz (University of Groningen)



Thursday 24 May

9.00-9.15 Coffee and Welcome

9.15-10.00 Brenda Basilico (University of Lille III), “Music, Mathematics, and Skepticism in Mersenne’s Writings”

10.00-10.45 Margaret Matthews (Emory University, Atlanta), “The Place of Skepticism in Montaigne’s Essays.” 

10.45-11.00 Break

11.00-12.00 Key Note Speaker: Felicity Green (University of Edinburgh), “Freedom and Responsibility in Locke’s Account of Belief.”

12.00-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.15 Raphael Krut-Landau (University of Pennsylvania), “From History to Anagogy: Scriptural Modes of Reading in Spinoza’s Ethics.”

14.15-15.00 Sanja Särman (Hong Kong University), “Don’t Know Yourself – Spinoza and Leibniz on the Advantages of Having an Infinitely Unfamiliar Mind.”

15.00-15.15 Break

15.15-16.00 James A. Harris (University of St Andrews), “Hume on political obligation: between Locke and Filmer.”

16.00-17.45 Jacob Hinze (University of St. Andrews), “Indeterminacies in Locke’s Concept of the State of Nature.” (SSEMP Essay Prize Winner, funded by the BSHP)

Friday 25 May

9.00-9.15 Coffee

9.15-10.00 David Bartha (Central European University), “Two Routes to Idealism: Collier and Berkeley.”

10.00-10.45 Umrao Sethi (Lehman College, CUNY), “Mind-Dependence in Berkeley and the Problem of Perception.”

10.45-11.00 Break

11.00-12.00 Key Note Speaker: Martin Lenz (University of Groningen), “What does it mean to share a view? Hume on the Transmission of Mental States. “

12.00-13.30 Lunch

13.30-14.15 Dino Jakusic (University of Warwick), “Christian Wolff and the Invention of Ontology.”

14.15-15.00 Gaston Robert (King’s College London), “God, Aggregation, and the Collective Unity of All Substances: General Pre-Established Harmony Revisited.”

15.00-15.15 Break

15.15-16.00 Keith Green (East Tennessee State University), “Hatred, Moral Motivation, and ‘Normativity’ in Spinoza and Hume”

16.00-16.45 Gabriel Watts (Oriel College, Oxford), “The Curious Place of Curiosity in Hume’s Theory of the Passions.”


Attendance is free, but registration is mandatory. Please up on Eventbrite: Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy IX:


Contact: Mogens Lærke:

Organisation: Beth Lord (Aberdeen); Mogens Lærke (IHRIM, CNRS, ENS de Lyon)

Funding: Scottish Philosophical Association (SPA) / British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP) / University of Aberdeen / IHRIM (CNRS, UMR 5317), ENS de Lyon.



CFP: 5th Finnish-Hungarian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

Call for Papers

The Fifth Finnish-Hungarian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

Central European University, Budapest 28–29 May 2018

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 2017 in Turku, Finland. This will be the fifth meeting in a continuous series of seminars; for more information, please see the website

We invite prospective participants to send an abstract of about 500 words on any topic in early modern philosophy to by 15 March 2018.

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

For further information, please contact Mike Griffin at<>.

Organizing and program committee: Mike Griffin (CEU), Vili Lähteenmäki (Helsinki), Judit Szalai (ELTE), and Valtteri Viljanen (Turku).

Yitzhak Melamed at London Spinoza Circle

The London Spinoza Circle welcomes Professor Yitzhak Melamed (John Hopkins University) who will speak on Spinoza’s Mereolgy.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 15th February, 3pm to 5pm,

Room 402, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet St,  London WC1E 7HX. (Entrance from Torrington Square).



Mereology and the concept of part has a central role in Spinoza’s metaphysics and is closely related to many of his key notions, such as substance, extension, power, infinity, infinite modes, parallelism, adequacy and inadequacy of ideas, destruction, individuals, and singular things [res singulares]. Arguably, the proper elucidation of Spinoza’s mereology is the key to any discussion of the nature of finite things in Spinoza’s metaphysics. Yet, in spite of its importance, the topic has hardly been studied in the existing literature. Paucity of early modern primary sources discussing mereology was never an issue; most of Spinoza’s works include detailed discussions of part and whole. In fact, one of the major obstacles in the study of Spinoza’s mereology is finding a way to ease and reconcile the tensions among various claims of Spinoza, tensions that could be due to local inconsistencies, equivocal use of ‘part [pars]’, or genuine changes in Spinoza’s understanding of parts and wholes. Spinoza developed his philosophy over a period of almost two decades, and it is clear that he kept revising his views, including, as we shall see, some of his mereological assumptions.

In my paper I will attempt to reconstruct the outline of Spinoza’s mereology. In the first part of this paper, I will begin with a preliminary exploration of Spinoza’s understanding of part and whole and attempt to explain Spinoza’s claim that certain things are indivisible. In the second part, I will study and explain Spinoza’s view on the priority of parts to their wholes, and point out the contrast between the whole-part and substance-mode relationships in Spinoza. In the third part I will investigate the termini of Spinoza’s mereology: the largest wholes and the smallest parts (if there are any). In the fourth part, I will attempt to explain and motivate Spinoza’s claim that mereology cuts across the attributes, i.e., the fact that the parallelism among the attributes preserves the same mereological relations. In order to motivate this claim we will have to clarify the relationship between mereology and causation in Spinoza, and explain his notion of “singular things.”

All are welcome and no registration is required.


The remaining meetings for this term are:

March 1st, 2018 – Dr. Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway, University of London)

3pm to 5pm,  Room B30, Birkbeck College, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT


March 22nd, 2018 – Dr. Alexander Douglas (St Andrews University)

3pm to 5pm,  Room 101, Birkbeck College, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT

Martin Lin at Paris 8

This Thursday Feb. 8th, Professor Martin LIN (Rutgers University) will be at the Université Paris 8 for a talk entitled:

“What are Modes for Spinoza?”

The talk will take place from 18h-20h (room J103) and will be in English. The Université Paris 8 can be accessed with metro line 13. All are welcome, the more merrier!



*JEUDI 08 FÉVRIER 2018, 18H-20H*

*Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, Salle J103*

*Martin LIN*

*« What are modes for Spinoza?** »*

According to Spinoza, every particular finite thing, including human bodies and minds, are modes of a single substance, God or Nature. But what does this curious doctrine mean? On the standard interpretation, modes are properties that inhere in and are predicated of substance. Human bodies and minds, however, are concrete particulars. How could they inhere in and be predicated of anything? In this paper, I argue that Spinozistic modes are not properties. Rather they are dependent concrete objects that inhere in but are not predicated of substance.

Martin Lin is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. He is the author of *Being and Reason: an Essay on Spinoza’s Metaphysics *(forthcoming) and papers about metaphysics and philosophy of mind in the seventeenth century.

*Séminaire International et Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Spinozistes* <> *(intégralité des séances en ligne)*

*Organisé par **Charles Ramond* <> *et **Jack

Stetter* <> *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.

Pantheism and Panentheism Summer Stipends

The Pantheism and Panentheism Project, funded by the John Templeton Foundation, welcomes applications for summer stipends from scholars and writers who wish to spend the summer writing a paper for publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal, a reputable magazine (if they wish to write for a popular audience), or an edited collection to be published by a leading academic publisher. We offered £1000 each to 10 applicants in the summer of 2017 (see FUNDED PROJECTS <>

for details on the output of the recipients) and we will offer 9 awards of £1000 in the summer of 2018. Co-authors are welcome to apply together but they will be awarded only one joint stipend of £1000. *This is a non-residential grant that allows grant recipients to work on their project anywhere they wish*.

The deadline is *15 April 2018*.

For the application procedure please see the project website <>.


Contact Yujin Nagasawa




PhD studentships on Political Concepts

PhD studentships are available at Aberdeen on Political Concepts in the World. Students working on Spinoza and politics are welcome to apply (but please note, projects must be strongly linked to the project themes).

These studentships are open to EU nationals only.

Please forward to anyone who may be interested.


Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD positions: Political Concepts in the World (POLITICO)

The University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with the Horizon 2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme, is delighted to offer six Early Stage Researcher (PhD) positions, lasting 3 years starting in September 2018, for ground-breaking research on how political concepts, such as 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. 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.

The ESRs will propose and develop their own research projects around the theme of how political concepts have been fostered historically, debated philosophically and politically, fought over by social movements, codified in law, transmitted through education and the media, and lived out in everyday life. They will register for a PhD and work under the supervision of an interdisciplinary team of supervisors. They will receive extensive training, including in engagement with non-academic audiences, which will include one or more placements with one of our 23 partners. They will also actively participate in the activities of the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and the Rule of Law.

ESRs will be employed by the University on a salary of £26,075 per annum, and will be eligible for a range of additional benefits including ample travel and research funding.

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.

These posts do not meet the minimum requirements as stipulated by UK Visas & Immigration (UKVI) to qualify for an employer-sponsored visa. We are therefore unable to consider applications from candidates who would require an employer-sponsored visa to work in the UK.

Deadline is 20th March 2018. Please click for Further Particulars and to apply.

London Spinoza Circle: change of venue

I am sorry that there has been a room change for our next meeting with Christopher Thomas on Thursday 25th January. It will now be held in Room B04, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX. (Entrance from Torrington Square).

The rooms for the next three meetings have also been changed as follows:

February 15th, 2018 – Prof. Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University)

2pm to 5pm,  Room 402, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet St,  London WC1E 7HX. (Entrance from Torrington Square).



March 1st, 2018 – Dr. Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway, University of London)

3pm to 5pm,  Room B30, Birkbeck College, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT


March 22nd, 2018 – Dr. Alexander Douglas (St Andrews University)

3pm to 5pm,  Room 101, Birkbeck College, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT



Christopher Thomas at London Spinoza Circle

At the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle we are pleased to have Dr. Christopher Thomas (Manchester Metropolitan University) who will speak on 

Deriving Culture from Nature: Articulate and Inarticulate Bodies in Spinoza’s Philosophy of Nature.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 25th January, 3pm-5pm in

Room B04, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet St, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7HX. (Entrance from Torrington Square).


Spinoza’s philosophy is often criticised for lacking a direct consideration of art. According to commentators one of the reasons for this is his strong naturalism. This paper will argue that rather than see Spinoza’s naturalism as reductive in terms of a theory of art and culture, it actually allows for a novel understanding of the work of art as a particularly ‘articulate’ part of nature.

By turning to the two places that Spinoza mentions art in the Ethics–IIIP2Schol and IVP45Schol respectively–, as well as his theory of the sanctity of Scripture in the Theological-Political Treatise, this paper will develop the theory of art and culture that follows from, and is implicit in, Spinoza’s philosophical naturalism.

All are welcome and no registration is required.


Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy V

Call for Papers

Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy V (#DSEMP) Utrecht University (NL)

30-31 May 2018

The Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy brings together advanced students and established scholars to discuss the latest work in early modern philosophy, broadly conceived. Built on the success of the previous

2014–2017 editions, which gathered philosophers from all over the world, the Seminar offers workshop-style collaborations to stimulate scholarly exchange. The language of presentation and discussion is English.


*Keynote speakers*

Professor Christia Mercer (Columbia University)
Professor Karin de Boer (KU Leuven)

*Call for papers*

We welcome abstracts for talks on any 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, methodological reflections on doing Early Modern philosophy.

Please submit abstracts (400 words max.) suitable for anonymous review in PDF to our EasyChair page:

Deadline: 15 January 2018

Decisions will follow by early March. Abstracts will be peer-reviewed. 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 Chris Meyns ( / @chrismeyns) with any questions.

*Co-organizers: *

Andrea Sangiacamo (University of Groningen)
Chris Meyns (Utrecht University)

*The Dutch Seminar is an activity of:*

Department of Philosophy, Utrecht University Descartes Centre for the History and Philosophy of Science, Utrecht University Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought (, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen OZSW Study Group in Early Modern Philosophy

CFA: Philosophy of Mind in Early Modern Philosophy

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Philosophy of Mind in Early Modern Philosophy Conference

April 28 – 29, 2018

Hosted by Princeton University

Submission Deadline: Feb 1st, 2018


We invite graduate students to submit abstracts on any topic at the intersection of early modern philosophy (from Descartes to Hume) and philosophy of mind. Topics include, but are not limited to, the nature of ideas, the development of psychology as a discipline, the faculties, perception, animal cognition, the mind-body problem, personal identity, judgment, the passions, representation, and consciousness. Confirmed invited speakers include Don Garrett (NYU), Gary Hatfield (UPenn), Julia Jorati (OSU), John Morrison (Columbia), Amy Schmitter (Alberta), Galen Strawson (UT Austin), and Shelley Weinberg (Illinois). For more details, please visit the conference’s website:

Abstracts should not exceed 500 words. They should be prepared for blind review and sent as a PDF file to In a separate PDF attachment, please include your name, academic affiliation, email address, and paper title.

We encourage applications from individuals from historically under-represented groups.

Any questions can be directed to Claudia Dumitru, at, Alejandro Naranjo Sandoval, at, or Domenica Romagni, at

Notification of Acceptance by March 1st, 2018