Extended deadline: PhD positions in Political Concepts

Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD positions in Political Concepts in the World (POLITICO) at the University of Aberdeen

 DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 24 APRIL 2018

 The University of Aberdeen, in collaboration with the Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie programme, is delighted to offer six Early Stage Researcher positions, lasting 3 years starting in October 2018, for ground-breaking research on how political concepts are used in the world. Projects on Spinoza’s political philosophy, working with Dr. Beth Lord, will be considered, if they fit with the themes of the programme.

 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. 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.

 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.

 Successful applicants will be required to start on 1 October 2018 for a period of 3 years.

 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 four 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. Any appointment will be conditional upon satisfactory references, a 12 month probation period, the fulfilment of any conditions specified in the offer of a place on a PhD programme, and confirmation of the right to work in the UK and ability to secure a valid visa, if required, from UK Visas and Immigration.

 Any appointment will be made subject to satisfactory references and a 12 month probation period.

 For further information on various staff benefits and policies please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/working-here

 Further particulars and online application forms are available at https://www.abdnjobs.co.uk/internal/vacancy/early-stage-researchers-346285.html

 The closing date for receipt of applications has been extended to 24 April 2018.

 Should you wish to make an informal enquiry please contact Dr Trevor Stack, POLITICO Director at politico@abdn.ac.uk.

 Please do not send application forms or CVs to Dr Stack.

 Please quote reference number LAN070R on all correspondence

 The University pursues a policy of equal opportunities in the appointment and promotion of staff.

 

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Steven Nadler at Seminaire Spinoza a Paris 8

You are invited to join us Thursday March 29th from 6pm-8pm at the University Paris 8 (room J103, metro line 13) for a talk by Steven Nadler on Spinoza and Menasseh ben Israel. Nadler’s talk will be in French. Please see below for more information.

 

*Séminaire Spinoza à Paris 8*

*Jeudi 29 MARS 2018, 18h-20h*

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

 

*Steven NADLER*

*« Spinoza et Menasseh ben Israël : des fictions et des faits »*

“Il y a beaucoup de mythologie au sujet des relations entre Spinoza et Menasseh ben Israël, le rabbin de la congrégation portugaise d’Amsterdam et sans doute un des juifs les plus connus au monde pendant son vivant au dix-septième siècle. Menasseh, était-t-il vraiment l’inspirateur et le maître intellectuel du jeune Spinoza ? Dans cette communication, nous examinerons les faits et les fictions au sujet des rapports personnels et philosophiques entre le philosophe et le rabbin.” S.N.

Steven Nadler est Professeur de philosophie et d’études juives à l’Université de Wisconsin-Madison (États-Unis), où il est aussi Directeur de l’Institut de recherche en sciences humaines. Spécialiste de la philosophie moderne, et particulièrement de Spinoza, plusieurs de ses livres ont été déjà traduits en français, dont *Spinoza -une vie* (Paris :Bayard, 2003, tr. par Jean-François Sené), sa célèbre biographie ; *Le meilleur des mondes possibles -La rencontre entre Leibniz, Malebranche, et Arnaud* (Paris : Bayard, 2011, tr. de Sophie Gallé-Soas) ; et *Le philosophe, le prêtre et le peintre -Portrait de Descartes au Siècle d’Or* (Paris : Alma, 2015, tr. de Myriam Dennehy).

 

*Spinoza à Paris 8*

*Programme 2017-2018* (upcoming)

 

*Jeudi 12 avril 2018 : Daniel GARBER*

*« Y a-t-il une théorie de la conscience chez Spinoza ? »*

 

*Jeudi 17 mai 2018 : Yves CITTON*

*« Spinoza médiologue ? Spinoza écologue ? Discussion de Éthique II, 14-29 »*

 

*Jeudi 14 juin 2018 : Toni NEGRI*

*« Quelques réflexions sur la peur chez Spinoza »*

 

*Séminaire International et Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Spinozistes* <http://spinozaparis8.com/>

 

*Organisé par **Charles Ramond* <charles.ramond@univ-paris8.fr>* et **Jack Stetter* <jckstetter@gmail.com>*, avec le soutien de l’EA 4008 LLCP.*

Responsable Audio-Vidéo Carmen Alves <cavalcanti.carmen@gmail.com>*.*

02, rue de la Liberté, Saint-Denis (93). Métro « Saint-Denis Université ».

Entrée libre. Se munir d’une pièce d’identité.

CFA: Spinoza and British Idealism

Call for Abstracts:

 Spinoza & British Idealism

 8 & 9 June 2018, University of St Andrews

 This conference aims to bring together leading historians of philosophy who have simultaneously begun to reappraise a neglected area of philosophical scholarship. In the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries, the philosophy of Spinoza was taken very seriously by academic philosophers based in England and Scotland. Spinoza was seen as offering crucial insights on the relation between the natural sciences, religion, philosophy, and ordinary common experience. However, the tradition in which many of these philosophers worked, known as ‘British Idealism’, fell out of fashion when the new analytical approach defined itself in opposition to it. As a result, the importance of Spinoza was downgraded. Today, it is increasingly recognised that contemporary philosophers have much to learn from this once discarded school of philosophy. Spinoza’s reputation as a central figure has also been rehabilitated. It is high time to revisit what the British Idealists had to say about Spinoza, and many leading Spinoza scholars have recognised this. What better place to hold this conference than a university that was once a great hub of British Idealism?

 Please send 200-word abstracts to Alexander Douglas, axd@st-andrews.ac.uk, by the 10th of May.

 For more info, please visit:

 https://spinozabritishidealism.wordpress.com/

 

Alexander Douglas at London Spinoza Circle

For the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle, we are pleased to have Dr Alexander Douglas (University of St. Andrews) who will speak on:

Spinoza and the British Idealists: Acosmism, Determination, and Negation

Thursday 22nd March, 3pm to 5pm

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

Abstract
I examine the acosmist reading of Spinoza, first proposed by German philosophers and then developed in detail by British Idealist philosophers. According to this reading, Spinoza is implicitly committed to the view that nothing truly exists besides God. The cogency of this reading, as is well-known, depends on what Spinoza means in saying that “determination is negation”. While most schoålars have focussed on the meaning of “determination”, I propose an interpretation of “negation” that would Spinoza to avoid the conclusions pushed upon him by the British Idealists. I then speculate on why the British Idealists might have rejected this interpretation.

All welcome and no registration is required.

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

CFP: Contemporary and Historical Perspectives on Spinoza and Culture

Manchester Metropolitan University

3 August 2018

Recent scholarship on Spinoza has produced a wealth of excellent material covering all aspects of Spinoza’s philosophy. Important studies, for instance, have further developed Spinoza’s physics (Peterman), metaphysics (Viljanen), epistemology (Lenz), politics (Lordon), and theory of language (Laerke). Likewise, various recent works have brought Spinoza’s thought into dialogue with certain key topics of our time such as equality (Lord), ecology (Sharp), and ideology (Read). And yet given this burgeoning of Spinoza studies across many different keys, there has been little work carried out on Spinoza’s relation to culture and cultural theory. This conference aims to contribute to this underdeveloped aspect of Spinoza studies by providing a space of discussion for the various potential and actual relations between Spinoza and Spinozism, and culture and cultural theory.

The organisers seek to take the Spinoza-culture relation in the broadest possible sense, inviting contributions from traditional historians of philosophy, as well as more interdisciplinary scholars working at the juncture of Spinoza’s philosophy and the humanities, arts, and social sciences. As well as this the organisers seek contributions that address Spinozism (understood as the influence of Spinoza’s philosophy on contemporary philosophical positions) and its relation to recent or historical cultural theory (such a study, for instance, might develop the influence of Spinoza’s philosophy in Gilles Deleuze’s treatment of Francis Bacon, or the role that Spinoza’s philosophy plays in ‘new materialist’ treatments of literature and the arts).

The working language of the conference will be English but global and comparative perspectives are warmly encouraged.

Contributions are welcomed to address, but are not limited to:

  • Spinoza’s biblical hermeneutics
  • Spinoza and biblical narrative
  • Uses of Spinoza’s philosophy/Spinozism for culture/cultural theory
  • Uses of Spinoza’s philosophy/Spinozism in culture/cultural theory
  • Spinozistic readings of literature, theatre, art, and any related aspect of contemporary or historical culture
  • Spinoza’s use of the classical poets
  • Spinoza’s uses/philosophy-of fiction (political/literary/biblical)
  • Spinoza and language
  • Spinoza and writing
  • Spinoza and aesthetics
  • The cultural-historical context of Spinoza’s philosophy

 

Please submit abstracts (max. 500 words), along with a brief author bio, to c.thomas@mmu.ac.uk by 1st May 2018. Enquiries can also be sent to the same address.

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

Dr. Christopher Thomas, Lecturer in Philosophy

Department of History, Politics and Philosophy
Manchester Metropolitan University
Geoffrey Manton Building
Manchester
M15 6LL
UK

 

PhD scholarships on Political Concepts at University of Aberdeen

Projects on Spinoza, and related figures from the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophy, are welcome.

 

Marie Skłodowska-Curie PhD positions at the University of Aberdeen

Political Concepts in the World – The ‘social’ beyond the ‘political’?

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 nation, 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.  They will also actively participate in the activities of the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and the Rule of Law (CISRUL). 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.

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.

One of the topics that we invite applicants to consider is The ‘social’ beyond the ‘political’? The topic builds on debates of recent years in social and political theory by considering the concept of the ‘political’ itself. On the one hand, a range of scholars have drawn on Carl Schmitt’s conceptions of the ‘political’ and ‘sovereignty’. This trend includes numerous theoretical re-evaluations of Schmitt’s thought, but also contemporary adaptations of his basic approach to politics by thinkers such as Giorgio Agamben, Leo Strauss, William Cavanaugh and Adam Kotsko. The PhD may choose to explore the reasons for the renewed interest in this tradition, as well as particular ways in which it is deployed to support policy and constitutional agendas. An alternative is to focus on critics of this tradition, who argue that Schmitt’s paradigm equates politics with power struggle, encouraging a zero-sum competition to assert a sovereign power that overcomes every other power, and worry that the propensity to collapse politics into sovereign power erases the category of the ‘social’ in discussions of the state. In recent debates within critical theory, this tension is expressed between those who advocate egalitarian emancipation in terms of a horizontal ‘multitude’ (Hardt and Negri), and those who advocate a new counter-hegemonic strategy to challenge the dominant sovereign forces (Laclau, Mouffe, Žižek). The PhD may choose to explore these positions by taking them to empirical context by considering how resistance and oppositions are dealt with in different policy fields (like security or migration).

Another topic is ‘Civility’ as a political concept. Civility is a key political concept of the modern era, and linked to other important concepts such as citizenship. Not only has civility long been understood as a prerequisite for life within modern urban environments, but it is often said to enable successful commercial interaction, the creation of elective affinities across economic, religious and ethnic divides, and the safe expression of unpopular views in the public sphere. The PhD may choose to reflect on the intellectual origins and development of the concept, from Classical sources through Enlightenment debate into modern times. Another focus might be the contemporary deployment of civility in political debate, within the context of globalising forces of capitalism, urbanisation, industrial development, and security. The PhD may alternatively consider resistance to the concept, such as in postcolonial or poststructuralist critiques that see ‘civility’ as a means of disciplining subaltern populations.

Other indicative topics listed in the Further Particulars – and for which a philosophical approach is welcome – are

  • The “nation” resurgent
  • “We the people” beyond the nation-state
  • Traditions of “citizenship” across Europe and beyond
  • Understanding “constitutionalism” in past and present
  • “Democracy” as a demand of global social movements
  • Digitalizing “democracy” – transforming the concept?
  •  “Secularism” and the category of “religion”

These are indicative topics – applicants are free to propose their own projects on how political concepts are used in the world.

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.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research & Innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 754326.

Spinoza Circle, London

At the next meeting of the Spinoza Circle, we are very pleased to have Dr. Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway, University of London) who will speak on

How to Speak of Eternity? Rhetoric in Ethics V

Thursday 1st March, 3.30 – 5.00pm

Room 101, Birkbeck College, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT

(PLEASE NOTE LATER START TIME)

My aim in this paper is to investigate the stylistic idiosyncrasies of Part V of Spinoza’s Ethics by focusing on the experience of the reader encountering this text: what is missed in most accounts of this passage, I argue, is the rhetorical effect of Spinoza’s language on a reader approaching the end of the book. The reader experiences hermeneutic anxiety upon encountering a God who loves, rejoices and glories in a relatively traditional manner after the iconoclastic dismantling of the traditional attributes of God in Parts I to IV. I suggest that such anxiety is intentionally provoked, for it emerges out of a reflective attitude towards the text and its choice of language, and such reflection on language is a means of ‘rhetorical therapy’ that makes the communication of adequate ideas possible.

The paper examines, first, the peculiar rhetorical devices at play in Part V, and, secondly, whether there are good philosophical reasons for such peculiarity. I then use such an analysis to think further about Spinoza’s attitude to language in general, concluding that thinking through the implications of the linguistic signs as affect allows one to posit the existence of a rhetorical therapy in Spinoza’s thinking.

All are welcome and no registration is required.

https://londonspinozacircle.wordpress.com

Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy IX

SCOTTISH SEMINAR IN EARLY MODERN PHILOSOPHY

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)

 

PROGRAMME

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 Anna Ortin Nadal (University of Edinburgh), “Descartes on a semantic model for sensory perception”

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 sign up on Eventbrite: Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy IX: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/scottish-seminar-in-early-modern-philosophy-ix-tickets-43171342648

 

Contact: Mogens Lærke: mogenslaerke@hotmail.com

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 https://fhsemp.wordpress.com/

We invite prospective participants to send an abstract of about 500 words on any topic in early modern philosophy to fhsemp2018@gmail.com 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 fhsemp2018@gmail.com<mailto:fhsemp2018@gmail.com>.

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).

 

Abstract:

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