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.

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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

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!

www.spinozaparis8.com

 

*SÉMINAIRE SPINOZA À PARIS 8*

*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* <http://spinozaparis8.com/> *(intégralité des séances en ligne)*

*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.

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 <https://sites.google.com/site/pantheismandpanentheismproject/stipends/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 <https://sites.google.com/site/pantheismandpanentheismproject/stipends>.

 

Contact Yujin Nagasawa

 

E-mail: Y.Nagasawa@bham.ac.uk

Web: http://www.yujinnagasawa.co.uk

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).

PLEASE NOTE EARLIER START TIME.

 

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.

 

http://londonspinozacircle.wordpress.com/