Events in UK

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 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: 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.

 

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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

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/

 

Pantheism and Panentheism workshop

Pantheism and Panentheism Workshop

 Tuesday 28 November, 12.30-5.10pm.

 University of Birmingham, Learning Centre room LG 14. It’s building R28 on the map at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/university/edgbaston-campus-map.pdf

 Philevents page: https://philevents.org/event/show/35762

 Workshop description

 The Royal Institute of Philosophy Birmingham Branch, and John Templeton Foundation-funded Pantheism and Panentheism Project<https://sites.google.com/site/pantheismandpanentheismproject/> at the University of Birmingham will host an informal workshop on pantheism and panentheism.

Pantheism is the view that God is identical with the universe. Panentheism is the view that the universe is part of God. These views are radically different from traditional theism, which says that God is an all-powerful, all-loving creator that is ontologically distinct from the universe. Pantheism and panentheism have a long history since ancient Greece and many prominent philosophers, theologians and scientists—such as Nicholas of Cusa, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, T. H. Green, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking—have defended or expressed sympathy with them. Yet, there has been very little discussion of these views in philosophy and theology as they have focused nearly exclusively on traditional theism.

 The aim of this workshop is to create opportunities for philosophers to present their latest work on pantheism and panentheism to students and the general public.

 The timetable for the workshop is:

 — 12.30 – 1.50: Yujin Nagasawa (University of Birmingham), “Pantheism, Panpsychism, and Cosmopsychism”

— 1.50 – 2.00: Break

–2.00 – 3.20: Sam Lebens (University of Haifa), “God and His Imaginary Friends: Acosmism, Pantheism and Priority Monism”

— 3.20 – 3.50: Refreshments

— 3.50 – 5.10: Mikael Stenmark (University of Uppsala), “Panentheism and Its Rivals”

 This event is free and open to all.

 Registration is not required, but please let the organisers know if you’re planning to attend, just so that we have an idea of what numbers to expect.

Organisers

 If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel welcome to contact the organisers:

 — Yujin Nagasawa: Y.Nagasawa@bham.ac.uk<mailto:Y.Nagasawa@bham.ac.uk>

— Nick Jones: n.k.jones@bham.ac.uk<mailto:n.k.jones@bham.ac.uk>

 

 

London Spinoza Circle

At the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle we are very pleased to have Dr Andrea Sangiacomo (University of Groningen) who will speak on Spinoza’s account of common notions and the origin of rational ideas.

The meeting will take place on Thursday 30th November, 3pm-5pm in the Paul Hirst Room, Department of Politics, Birkbeck College, at 10 Gower Street London WC1E 6HJ,

Abstract

An everlasting controversy in Spinoza scholarship concerns the origin of rational ideas. Two parties have been opposing each other. According to the empiricist approach, ideas of reason somehow derive from imagination, while innatism holds that they are built upon innate ideas. In this paper, I propose a revised version of the empiricist approach that is capable of fully accounting for Spinoza’s position.I argue that reason and imagination express different ways in which the body interacts with external causes. Imaginative ideas are the mental counterpart of interactions based on some form of disagreement in nature between the human body and external causes, while rational ideas based on common notions are the mental expression of agreement in nature between the human body and external cases. This reading of common notions as an expression of some degree of “agreement in nature” (natura convenire) among things leads to appreciate of the often neglected difference between universal and proper common notions, which in turns enables Spinoza to account for different degrees of generality that rational ideas can have.

All are welcome and no registration is required.

 

Please put these dates of future meetings in your diary.

January 25th, 2018 – Christopher Thomas (University of Aberdeen)

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

March 1st, 2018 – Dr Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway)

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

Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy IX

24-25 May 2018

University of Aberdeen

 

Key note speakers:

Martin Lenz (Groningen)

Felicity Green (Edinburgh)

 

The SSEMP IX is the 9th edition of a yearly event that brings together established scholars, young researchers and advanced graduate students working in the field of Early Modern Philosophy. The aim is to foster scholarly exchange among the different generations of academics in the UK and to strengthen international collaboration. We welcome abstracts on any topic in pre-Kantian early modern philosophy (broadly defined, ranging from late Renaissance philosophy to the Enlightenment.) We particularly encourage proposals that consider early modern philosophy in relation to other related disciplines, such as theology, intellectual history and/or the history of science. Presentations should be in English and approximately 30-35 minutes in reading length. We make an effort to assure a reasonable gender balance.

The SSEMP awards a Graduate Student Essay Prize which this year, like 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 £200 towards 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 2018. 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.

Abstracts for the regular program (approx. 300 words, abstract and 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 2018. Due to very high numbers of submissions we can no longer undertake to respond individually to all of them. Applicants who have not been contacted within one month by 15 February should consider their submission declined.

Please note that the SSEMP cannot provide funding for travel or accommodation for speakers. For further information about the SSEMP, see https://ssemp.wordpress.com/

Organisation:

Dr. Beth Lord (University of Aberdeen)
Dr. Mogens Lærke (CNRS, IHRIM, ENS de Lyon)

London Spinoza Circle 2017-18

In 2017/18 the *London Spinoza Circle* will continue to meet on Thursday afternoons, *3pm-5pm*, on the dates listed below.

We are pleased to confirm the venue for these meetings, and the titles of talks during the autumn term.

Seminars will take place in the *Paul Hirst Room, Department of Politics, Birkbeck, at 10 Gower Street*.

All are welcome; for enquiries please contact Clare Carlisle ( clare.carlisle@kcl.ac.uk), or email John Heyderman (jheyderman@gmail.com) to ask to be added to the London Spinoza Circle mailing list.

 

Seminars during the coming year will be as follows:

*October 12th, 2017 – Steph Marston (University of London)* *”Tumult, indignation… Trump? Spinoza on rebels and reason”*

*November 30th, 2017 – Dr Andrea Sangiacomo (University of Groningen)* *”Spinoza on Reason, Passions and the Supreme Good”*

*January 25th, 2018 – Christopher Thomas (University of Aberdeen)*

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

*March 1st, 2018 – Dr Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway)*

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

Further information will be posted at http://londonspinozacircle.wordpress.com

Pantheism and Panentheism workshop

Pantheism and Panentheism Workshop

Tuesday 28 November, 12.30-5.10pm,  University of Birmingham. The exact room is currently tbc.

Philevents page: https://philevents.org/event/show/35762

The Royal Institute of Philosophy Birmingham Branch, and John Templeton Foundation-funded Pantheism and Panentheism Project<https://sites.google.com/site/pantheismandpanentheismproject/> at the University of Birmingham will host an informal workshop on pantheism and panentheism.

Pantheism is the view that God is identical with the universe. Panentheism is the view that the universe is part of God. These views are radically different from traditional theism, which says that God is an all-powerful, all-loving creator that is ontologically distinct from the universe. Pantheism and panentheism have a long history since ancient Greece and many prominent philosophers, theologians and scientists—such as Nicholas of Cusa, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, T. H. Green, Albert Einstein, and Stephen Hawking—have defended or expressed sympathy with them. Yet, there has been very little discussion of these views in philosophy and theology as they have focused nearly exclusively on traditional theism.

The aim of this workshop is to create opportunities for philosophers to present their latest work on pantheism and panentheism to students and the general public.

The timetable for the workshop is:

— 12.30 – 1.50: Yujin Nagasawa (University of Birmingham), “Pantheism, Panpsychism, and Cosmopsychism”

— 1.50 – 2.00: Break

— 2.00 – 3.20: Sam Lebens (University of Haifa), “God and His Imaginary Friends: Acosmism, Pantheism and Priority Monism”

— 3.20 – 3.50: Refreshments

— 3.50 – 5.10: Mikael Stenmark (University of Uppsala), “Panentheism and Its Rivals”

 

This event is free and open to all.

Registration is not required, but please let the organisers know if you’re planning to attend, just so that we have an idea of what numbers to expect.

If you have any questions about the workshop, please feel welcome to contact the organisers:

— Yujin Nagasawa: Y.Nagasawa@bham.ac.uk<mailto:Y.Nagasawa@bham.ac.uk>

— Nick Jones: n.k.jones@bham.ac.uk<mailto:n.k.jones@bham.ac.uk>

 

 

Julie Klein at London Spinoza Circle

Julie Klein (Villanova University) will speak on “Language, Reason,and Intellect in Spinoza” on Friday 10th March, 2 – 4pm (Note change of time).

Dreyfus Room, via  26 Russell Square, Birkbeck College, London WC1B 5DT. The Dreyfus Room is on the top floor of the adjacent building.

“In this paper, I review Spinoza’s critique of language to show that he thinks words are inadequate for, and may even render us unable to pursue, scientia intuitiva.  Coming to terms with Spinoza’s division between language and intellection brings us face to face with a position that separates him from many recent thinkers: he does not take the linguistic turn.  Spinoza’s critique of language also raises a difficult question for us as readers: If words are inapt for intellectual knowing, what is the point of a text like the Ethics?  The TTP offers us three models of texts: Scripture, Euclid’s Elements, and “the true original text of Scripture,” which Spinoza identifies with the human mind.  I argue that the text of the Ethics is not Spinoza’s “philosophy” but rather points us toward it.  As linguistic and as rational, the Ethics offers cognitive training to strengthen the mind’s power of inference, but it does not present knowledge of the third kind.  This, I argue, is the sense of Spinoza’s claim in Ethics 5p28 that a striving or desire for the third kind of knowing can arise from the second kind of knowing and not the first.  In the final section of the paper, I explore the differences between the second and third kinds of knowing and focus on the break between the former and the latter.  I argue, ultimately, that the third kind of knowing is distinguished by its immediacy, which radically exceeds both the first and second kinds of knowing.”