upcoming events

Conference: the Dutch Golden Age



Journée d’étude à l’occasion de la publication du Dictionnaire des Pays-Bas au Siècle d’Or, sous la dir. de C. Secretan et W. Frijhoff, Paris, CNRS Editions, 2018.


9 Novembre 2018

École Normale Supérieure de Lyon

Site Descartes, Bâtiment D2, salle 123



9h30-9h45 Bienvenue

9h45-10h30  Catherine Secretan (CNRS-IHRIM, Lyon), « Pourquoi un “Dictionnaire”? Encyclopédisme et polyphonie : l’occasion d’un nouveau regard »

10h30-11h15   Willem Frijhoff (Rotterdam), « Le Dictionnaire du Siècle d’Or: regards français et néerlandais croisés, alternatifs ou complémentaires? »

Présidence : Pierre-François Moreau (ENS de Lyon)

11h15-11h30 Pause

11h30-12h30  Theo Verbeek (Utrecht), « La philosophie du siècle d’or: entre Descartes et Spinoza » Présidence : Antony McKenna (St. Étienne) 12h30-14h Déjeuner

14h-14h45  Mogens Lærke (CNRS-IHRIM, Lyon), « Grotius on Ecclesiastical Counsel and Declarative Rule »

14h45-15h30  Wiep van Bunge (Rotterdam), « Olfert Dapper: Geography and Philosophy in the Golden Age of the Dutch Republic » Présidence : Delphine Antoine-Mahut (ENS de Lyon)

15h30-16h00 Pause

16h00-16h45 Sonja Lavaert (Vrije Universiteit Brussel), « Adriaan Koerbagh : traduction, vérité, dialogue »

16h45-17h30 Albert Gootjes (Utrecht), “ »Lambertus van Velthuysen and the ‘Collegie der Sçavanten’: The Brief History of a Scholarly Society in the Dutch Republic » Présidence : Yves Krumenacker (Lyon III)


Organisation: Catherine Secretan et Mogens Lærke Contact : mogens.laerke@ens.lyon.fr La journée est organisée dans cadre du LabEx Comod, et soutenue par l’IHRIM (UMR 5317) et L’ENS de Lyon.


CFP: Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X

CFP: Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X (SSEMP X)

8-10 May 2019, University of St. Andrews


Keynote speakers:

Teresa Bejan (University of Oxford)

Craig Smith (University of Glasgow)

Udo Thiel (University of Graz)


SSEMP X is the tenth edition of a yearly international workshop that brings together established scholars, young researchers and advanced graduate students working in the field of Early Modern Philosophy. SSEMP welcomes papers on any topic in early modern philosophy (broadly defined to mean pre-Kantian philosophy ranging from late Renaissance philosophy to the early Enlightenment). We particularly encourage proposals which consider early modern philosophy in relation to related disciplines, such as theology, the history of literature, intellectual history and the history of science. SSEMP is conceived as a forum where established academics, early career researchers, and advanced PhD students can meet. We make an effort to assure a reasonable gender balance.

Abstracts for the regular program (approx. 300 words plus contact information in a single pdf or word file) should be sent by email to Mogens Lærke on mogenslaerke@hotmail.com. Graduate students submitting to the regular program should include contact information for one referee (typically the supervisor.) Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 January 2019. Due to very high numbers of submissions we cannot undertake to respond individually to all of them. Applicants who have not been contacted by 15 February should consider their submission declined.

The SSEMP awards a Graduate Student Essay Prize which this year, as in previous years, is funded by The British Society for the History of Philosophy. The prize includes an invitation to present the essay at the SSEMP and a bursary of £300 toward travel and accommodation. The bursary cannot be used for any other purpose. Submissions to the essay competition should include: (1) Name, affiliation, name and email of supervisor, and personal contact information; (2) the complete essay (max. 6000 words, including notes). Everything should be gathered in a single pdf or word file. Deadline for submissions is 15 January 2019. They should be sent by email to Mogens Lærke on mogenslaerke@hotmail.com. Those who wish to submit a proposal both as a complete text for the essay competition and as a short abstract for the regular program are free to do so.

Please note that the SSEMP cannot provide funding for travel or accommodation for speakers. The SSEMP X will begin on May 8th, 11am, and finish on May 10th, 4pm. For further information about the SSEMP, see https://ssemp.wordpress.com/


James Harris (University of St. Andrews): jah15@st-andrews.ac.uk

Mogens Lærke (CNRS-IHRIM 5317, ENS de Lyon): mogens.laerke@ens-lyon.fr



Philosophy Department, University of St. Andrews

Scots Philosophical Association

British Society for the History of Philosophy

IHRIM, CNRS-UMR 5317, ENS de Lyon

London Spinoza Circle: Mogens Lærke on 1st November and other upcoming meetings

The next meetiIMG_6714ng of the London Spinoza Circle will be on Thursday 1st November 2018, 3:00-5:00pm, when Mogens Lærke (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)  will speak on:

The Apostolic Style: Spinoza on Fraternal Advice and the Freedom to Philosophize

Bloomsbury Room (G.35), Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU

(Please note change of location)



In this paper, I discuss a chapter of the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus that is rarely commented on, namely Chapter XI. It is particular for the TTP in that it is exclusively dedicated to the interpretation of the New Testament, more specifically, the Apostles’ Letters. I will show how, in the first part of that chapter, Spinoza argues that the epistolary style of the apostles, and the discursive room it establishes, can serve as a paradigm for the exercise of the “liberty to philosophize” that he shall proceed to defend in Tractatus, chap. XX.

The following meeting will be on Thursday 6th December, 3 – 5pm, when Clare Carlisle (King’s College London) will speak on “George Eliot’s Spinoza.” 

Location: Bloomsbury Room (G.35), Ground Floor, South Block, Senate House, London WC1E 7HU 

Dates for Spring Term 2019 

Thursday 7th February, 3 – 5pm

Moira Gatens (University of Sydney)

Title and location tbc

Thursday 21st March, 3 – 5pm

Michael A. Rosenthal (University of Washington)

Title and location tbc

All welcome and no registration is required.

London Spinoza Circle site: https://londonspinozacircle.wordpress.com/

Spinoza and Aesthetic Concepts conference

Western Sydney University, Australia

Friday, 7th December 2018


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

Collegium Spinozanum summer school III

The Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought <https://www.rug.nl/filosofie/organization/history/gcmemt/> is pleased to announce the third edition of the *Collegium Spinozanum*: an international summer school on Spinoza and Spinozisms in their philosophical and historical contexts <https://www.rug.nl/education/summer-winter-schools/summer_schools_2019/collegiumspinozanum/>

The summer school takes place at the Faculty of Philosophy <https://www.rug.nl/filosofie/?lang=en>, Oude Boteringestraat 52, Groningen, on *July 2-5, 2019*.

*Deadline for presentations*: April 1, 2019 *Deadline for registration*: June 1, 2019



This summer school aims to bring together advanced students and established scholars working broadly on Spinoza’s thought, sources and reception. The goal of the summer school is to create an international forum to stimulate scholarly exchange and conversations inspired by different approaches and methodologies.

During morning sessions, established scholars in several different areas of Spinoza studies will offer seminars on some of the frontier research topics in the field. Afternoon sessions will consist of discussions of selected papers presented by participants and reading groups on short texts belonging to Spinoza’s works, or significant for the reception of Spinoza’s philosophy.


*Confirmed invited speakers*

Susan James (Birkbeck College London)

Maxime Rovere (PUC Rio de Janeiro)

Hasana Sharp (McGill University)

Jimena Solé (Universidad de Buenos Aires


For further information, please visit the website <https://www.rug.nl/education/summer-winter-schools/summer_schools_2019/collegiumspinozanum/>

Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Spinoza and Culture

Manchester Metropolitan University, Geoffrey Manton building, room 230

3 August 2018

9.30– Arrive: Coffee and Tea

9.45– Christopher Thomas (Manchester Metropolitan University): Welcome and Introduction

10.00 – Gilah Kletenik (New York University): ‘Interpreting Scripture like Nature or How to Read without a Telos

11.00 – Brynnar Swynson (Butler University): ‘Elective Affectivities: Modern Subjects and the Colonial “I”’

12.00 ­­– Susan James (Birkbeck, University of London): ‘Feelings and Fictions’

13.00 ­– Lunch (GM 230 supplied for speakers)

14.00 – Christopher Norris (Cardiff University): Reading

14.30 – Moira Gatens (University of Sydney): ‘The Veracious Imagination: the fictions of Spinoza and George Eliot’

15.30 – Break

15.45 – Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen): ‘Spinoza and the Art of Reasoning’

16.45 – Martin Benson (Stony Brook University): ‘Knowledge Without Revelation: Reading Spinoza’s epistemological transitions through Beckett’s Endgame’

17.45 – End of Conference

19.00 – Conference Dinner (HOME, Manchester)

For more information please see www.spinozaandculture.wordpress.com

This conference has been generously supported by The British Society for the History of Philosophy and MIND.

Dr. Christopher Thomas

Lecturer in Philosophy, Manchester Metropolitan University

Contact: c.thomas@mmu.ac.uk

Michael Della Rocca at the London Spinoza Circle on 11.06.18

At our meeting on Monday 11th June, 3pm – 5pm, we are pleased to have Michael Della Rocca (Yale University) who will speak on

“Perseverence, Power, and Eternity: Purely Positive Essence in Spinoza”

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


The alignment of affirmation, essence, and the absence of negation is evident very early on in Spinoza’s Ethics, in the definition of God.   In this paper, I seek to show how the purely positive character of essence is a feature not only of God’s essence but also, in some way, of the essences of things in general. I will also argue that appreciating the roles that the conception of essence as purely positive plays in Spinoza’s conatus doctrine offers us a new way into and a new way of defending a reading of Spinoza according to which modes – things that are dependent on God – do not really exist.  By endorsing in this new way such an extreme interpretation, I aim to provide new insight into the third kind of knowledge and the eternity of the mind, for Spinoza.

Our next meeting will be on Thursday 7th June when Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen) will speak on Spinoza and the art of reasoning. Details here.

CFP: BSHP Annual Conference 2019




24 – 26 April 2019, King’s College London

Strand Campus, London



 Proposals for individual papers and for papers organized in themed symposia are invited on any period and aspect of the history of philosophy. In line with the BSHP’s commitment to broadening the canon, proposals on currently under-represented philosophical traditions, periods and authors are especially welcome. All proposals must be anonymized for blind peer-review.

Individual papers: please send an abstract of MAX 500 words (in word format) for a paper suitable for a 30 minute slot (20 mins for the paper, 10 mins for Q&A) to katharine.oreilly@kcl.ac.uk.

Symposia: please send a proposal of MAX 500 words (in word format) for a symposium of 3-4 papers (each paper suitable for a 30 minutes slot) with abstracts of MAX 300 words for each paper to katharine.oreilly@kcl.ac.uk. Please also submit, in a separate document, the email address and institution of each participant, and the name and email of the symposium organizer who will serve as contact person.

Deadline: Monday 10 September 2018.

Please note: all conference participants, including accepted speakers, must be BSHP members. For information on the BSHP and how to join please visit https://www.bshp.org.uk

As signatories of the BPA/SWIP Good Practice Scheme, the BSHP will take steps to ensure gender balance among speakers and participants. As for all BSHP events, some funding is available for childcare. If you require childcare in order to attend the conference please contact katharine.oreilly@kcl.ac.uk.

Up to 10 bursaries of £100 will be available for speakers who are graduate students/unwaged members.

Conference Organizer:

Maria Rosa Antognazza, Chair, BSHP
Professor of Philosophy, KCL

Conference Assistant and contact for queries:

Katherine O’Reilly


Upcoming at the London Spinoza Circle

At our meeting on Thursday 7th June, 3pm – 5pm, we are pleased to have Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen), who will speak on

Spinoza and the art of reasoning

Room 629, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet St,  London WC1E 7HX. (Entrance from Torrington Square).

Map:  https://goo.gl/maps/fEiSjhBphkQ2



For Spinoza, the fiction writer, the artist, and the prophet are skilled at imagining and engaging others in imaginative visions, but the architect is skilled at rational thinking. The architect has less in common with artists than she does with exemplars of reasoning such as the “free man” of Ethics Part IV. Like the free man, the architect deals in adequate ideas: she deduces properties and relations from the essences of geometrical figures, and understands what follows from those properties and relations. She knows how a structure will relate to its human inhabitants, and what physical and social relations it enables. In this sense, the architect’s purpose and “art” is to develop possibilities for human flourishing from geometrical understanding.

This is also the task of the Ethics: Spinoza works from definitions and axioms, in the style of Euclid, to develop propositions that reveal our ethical potentialities. At times, he takes specific geometrical concepts to be foundational for metaphysical, ethical, and political claims. Spinoza appears to believe that designing buildings, relationships, and polities for human flourishing begins in geometry. Yet the nature of the transition from geometry to flourishing is not very clear, and the grounding for such a transition is not well understood. In this paper I will argue that for Spinoza, being highly rational involves practising the “art” of deducing positive human outcomes from geometrical understanding. I will argue that this is indeed an art that involves interpretation, judgment, and design, which can be performed better or worse. This suggests that both the architect and the philosopher are artists of reasoning and designers of structures that augment human relations, and that the best religious and political leaders can be artists in this sense too.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –


The following meeting will take place on Monday 11 June, 3pm – 5pm  (Room 101, 30 Russell Square)  Michael Della Rocca will speak on a topic to be circulated at a later date.


All are welcome and no registration is required.


London Spinoza Circle website: https://londonspinozacircle.wordpress.com

Netherlands-Israel Spinoza Seminar

July 1-2 2018 at the University of Haifa

Spinoza is often viewed through two distinct lenses. There is a Jewish Spinoza, the heretical critic of the Torah, and an opponent to the rabbis. This Spinoza is seen as a thinker seeped in the writings of Crescas, Maimonides, and Gersonides, and often thought of as the father to both the Haskalah and to secular Judaism. There is also a Dutch Spinoza, a freethinking member of the Amsterdam circle. This Spinoza, is seen as learned in Descartes and Hobbes, and as a philosopher of the Dutch Golden Age. Surrounded by a milieu of Liberal Protestant Christians, scientists, and doctors this Spinoza is embraced in the Netherlands today as a symbol of toleration, democracy, and liberalism.

The two Spinozas are jarringly brought together at Spinoza’s “burial site.” Spinoza’s bones rest somewhere within the yard of the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) of The Hague, near a memorial (partially provided by the Haifa Spinozaem) inscribed with the Hebrew word “עמך” (your people).

Today, in both Israel and in the Netherlands, Spinoza is treated as a national heritage. In both countries the philosopher is honored with street names, stamps, and artworks. His name is invoked in the political discourse of both countries, and in both Israel and in the Netherlands, Spinoza is offered as an example of national genius.

The Netherlands-Israel Spinoza Seminar explores the Jewish and Dutch Spinoza together. The inaugural seminar shall be held this year at the University of Haifa, and will focus upon Spinoza’s TTP and its reception. Participants will have the opportunity to visit the “Klefman copy” of the Tractatus Theologico Politicus, which features five annotations written in Spinoza’s own hand (and which constitute the core of the Adnotationes ad Tractatum theologico-politicum included in all modern editions of the TTP.)



Henri Krop (Erasmus University): “The Tractates theologico-politicus and the Dutch: Its predecessors and critics.” (Keynote)

Elhanan Yakira  (Hebrew University): “Spinoza and the Religious” (Keynote)

Noa Lahav (University of Haifa): “Spinoza’s TTP and Jewish-Israeli Identity”

Piet Steenbakkers (Utrecht University): Models, Human and Divine, in Spinoza’s Ethics and Theological-Political Treatise” 

Yehuda Halper (Bar-Ilan University): “Second Temple Politics and the Composition of the Bible according to Spinoza.”

Jo Van Cauter (Leiden University): “Popular Enlightenment, a Dutch perspective”

Mark Malkovich (Hebrew University) “Spinoza’s use of Rhetoric in the Ethics and in the TTP

Atsuko Fukuoka (University of Tokyo): The Tractatus theologico-politicus and Dutch Debates on the Church-State Relationship”

Yoram Stein (Leiden University): “Spinoza and the Problem of Context, or, How to Interpret Spinoza Spinozistically.”

Registration is free, but must made in advance.

Website: https://nispinozaseminar.wordpress.com

Contact: Daniel Schneider (dschneidercaute@gmail.com)

Download the poster here: Spinoza main poster 2018-final