Events in Belgium

Spinoza: the Political and the Metaphysical

Spinoza: The Political and the Metaphysical (3)
Ghent University
June 23, 2016

Location: Simon Stevin Room, Plateau-Rozier, Jozef Plateaustraat 22, 9000 Gent


9:30-10:00: Welcome/coffee

10:00-11:00: Daniel Schneider (Cambridge University), “Spinoza’s Ontological Argument: Essence, Thought, and Existence”

11:00-12:00: Michael Rosenthal (University of Washington), “Spinoza on ‘Civil Orders,’ or What is an ‘Ideal Constitution’?”

12:00-13:00: Tinneke Beeckman (author) , “Spinoza, contemporary philosopher”


Attendance is free. All are welcome!


Pre-doctoral grant in Early Modern Philosophy (Brussels)

Within the ARC project directed by Arnaud Pelletier, professor for philosophy at the ULB, Brussels, Belgium (, there is a vacancy for one eight-month “Seed-Money” grant for preparing a PhD project on any aspect of early modern philosophy (roughly from Descartes to Kant).

The topic is up to the applicant: it could touch, for example but with no limitation, the issue of practical reason before Kant (which is related to the ARC project). In any case, the project should be original and feasible. Decision will be made only on the basis of the overall quality of the application.

The applicant will have to develop his/her initial project by writing a detailed state of the art and by undertaking preliminary investigations. The objective is to write, in the course or at the end of the grant, an application for a fully funded three- or four-year PhD grant at the Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research (FNRS) or at the ULB. The candidate will work under the supervision of Arnaud Pelletier; s/he will be part of the Research Center in Philosophy (; s/he will have to participate in the activities of the Center and of the Research Group in Modern Philosophy; s/he will have to involve in other scientific activities (publishing book reviews, presenting papers at a conference, starting the writing of an article, etc.). The thesis can be written in French or in English

Requirements:    – MA in Philosophy (passed between June 2014 and October 1, 2016)

– very good grades in all courses

Duration: 8 months, from October 1, 2016 to June 1, 2017

Amount: ca. € 1880,00 (netto) per month (for EU citizens; approx. € 15 000, 00 for 8 months)

Applicants should send, in French or in English, the following files to

1)            a cover letter (explaining the applicant’s adequacy with the topic s/he wants to work on)

2)            a detailed CV (including an academic transcript mentioning all grades)

3)            a brief doctoral project (4 pages + bibliography)

4)            a writing sample (about 10 pages, possibly from the Master thesis)

For all practicalities, non-Belgian candidates can benefit from the support of the ULB Welcome Desk for international researchers.


Applications must be sent before September 3, 2016. For any further information, please feel free to contact Arnaud Pelletier (

Workshop: The Body in Spinoza’s Philosophy

18 March 2016

Institute of Philosophy, Room N
3000 Leuven


10:00a – 10:30a: Greetings

10:30a – 12:30p: Panel 1 – The Physics and Metaphysics of the Body

“Galileo’s Influence on Spinoza’s Concepts of the Body,” Filip Buyse (Université Paris 1 Panthéon – Sorbonne)

“The Problem of the Persistence of Identity in Spinoza’s Account of the Body,” Sean Winkler (KU Leuven)

“The Dual Aspect of Finite Bodies in Spinoza’s Metaphysics,” Noa Shein (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)

12:30p – 1:30p: Lunch

1:30p – 2:50p: Panel 2 – The Experience of the Body

“Corporeality and Subjectivity in Spinoza’s Ethics: The Role of Imagination in Historical Perspective,” Olivér István Tóth (Eötvös Loránd University)

“Spinoza’s Phenomenology of Bodily Affections,” Rudolf Bernet (KU Leuven)

2:50p – 3:00p: Short Break

3:00p – 4:20p: Panel 3 – The Politics of the Body

“The Body’s Capabilities, in Ethics 5p39,” Keith Green (East Tennessee State University)

“Political Suicide: The Body of Spinoza’s Sovereign Has No Self-Preserving Conatus,” Christopher Davidson (University of Arkansas at Little Rock)

4:20p – 4:40p: Long Break

4:40p – 6:10p: Keynote

“Spinoza’s Account of Agreement in Nature: From Physics to Politics,” Andrea Sangiacomo (University of Groningen)

Response to Keynote, Herman De Dijn (KU Leuven)

6:30p – 7:30p: Drinks

7:30p – 9:00p: Dinner



Sean Winkler (KU Leuven), Cody Staton (KU Leuven), Jo Van Cauter (Ghent University), Karin de Boer (KU Leuven), Roland Breeur (KU Leuven) // Centre for Metaphysics, Philosophy of Religion and Philosophy of Culture at KU Leuven

Additional Information

The aim of this workshop is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers working in different areas of Spinoza’s philosophy by examining, comparing and assessing Spinoza’s different accounts of the body in his metaphysical, physical, ethical and political writings. Registration for the workshop is free, but we ask that you fill out a registration form, which can be found on our website at Please fill it out and return it to us by email at by 11 March 2016. The workshop dinner is €25 for speakers and €45 for non-speakers. Payment for the dinner is to be made in person on the day of the workshop. For any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the aforementioned email address.

CFP: The Body in Spinoza’s Philosophy

Institute of Philosophy – Room N, KU Leuven

Leuven, Belgium

18 March 2016


“Spinoza’s Account of Agreement in Nature: From Physics to Politics”, Andrea Sangiacomo, University of Groningen

Organizers:  Sean Winkler, KU Leuven; Cody Staton, KU Leuven; Jo Van Cauter, Ghent University; Roland Breeur, KU Leuven; Karin de Boer, KU Leuven

According to one of his final letters to Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus, Spinoza still had “not had the opportunity to arrange in due order anything” on the subject of physics by the time of his death in 1677. Although his physics is incomplete, the concept of the body as it appears in the so-called Physical Digression of Part 2 of the Ethics is one of Spinoza’s most radical, but also one of his most underdeveloped, concepts. However, Spinoza uses the term ‘body’ to refer to a variety of types of individuals, but it is not clear that he always uses the term in entirely the same way throughout his oeuvre. In the Ethics, he mentions the so-called simplest bodies and composite bodies and in his political writings, he refers to ‘the body of the state’. Additionally, the facies totius universi, which Spinoza mentions in a letter to Schuller, is often characterized as the infinitely expansive body of the universe. The aim of this workshop is to facilitate a dialogue between researchers working in different areas of Spinoza’s philosophy by examining, comparing and assessing Spinoza’s different accounts of the body in his metaphysical, physical, ethical and political writings.

We welcome proposals that deal with the concept of body in Spinoza’s philosophy in any respect. Topics may include:

  • Influences on Spinoza’s theory of body (from anatomy, physics, physiology, political theory, etc.)
  • Spinoza’s understanding of the relationship between physics, anatomy and/or physiology
  • A comparison of Spinoza’s various accounts of the body
  • Spinoza’s conception of the form of the body as a “union of bodies” or as a “proportion of motion and rest”
  • The distinction between living and non-living things in Spinoza’s philosophy
  • Spinoza’s theory of political bodies
  • Spinoza’s concept of the facies totius universi
  • The role of the body in Spinoza’s ethical philosophy

Please send a 300-word abstract in .doc or .docx format to by 30 November 2015. Abstracts should be prepared for double-blind review by removing any identification details. The author’s name, paper title, institutional position and affiliation should be included in the body of the e-mail. Presentations will be 25 minutes in length, and will be followed by 20 minutes of discussion. Submitters will be notified by 18 December 2015 of acceptance or rejection.