Events in UK

Valtteri Viljanen at the London Spinoza Circle on Thursday 23rd January 2020

valtteri2013At the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle on Thursday 23rd January 2020, 3 – 5pm, Valtteri Viljanen (University of Turku) will speak on

Spinoza on Scepticism, Truth, and Method

Location: Birkbeck, University of London, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

 

Abstract:

In this talk, I offer a new interpretation of Spinoza’s method of distinguishing the true ideas from the false, which shows that his answer to the sceptic is not a failure. This method, as presented in the Treatise on the Emendation of the Intellect, combines analysis and synthesis as follows: if we can say of the object of an idea (a) which simple things underlie it, (b) how it can be constructed out of simple elements, and (c) what properties it has after it has been produced, doubt concerning the object simply makes no sense. I also discuss the distinction between the intrinsic and the extrinsic denomination of an idea and suggest a way in which the methodology of the Treatise connects to the ontology of the Ethics.

All welcome and no registration is required

London Spinoza Circle: Spring and Summer Terms 2020

The London Spinoza Circle have organised four meetings for the coming spring and summer terms. All meetings will take place from 3pm to 5pm.

 

Spring Term

Thursday 23rd January      

Valtteri Viljanen (University of Turku)

 

Thursday 6th February

Martin Lenz (University of Groningen)

 

Thursday 19th March        

Pina Totaro (Università di Roma Sapienza)

The three meetings above will take place in the Dreyfus Room, Birkbeck, University of London, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ.

 

Summer Term

Thursday 25th June       

Kristin Primus (UC Berkeley)

Room location to be confirmed

 

The titles of the presentations will be announced closer to the date.

 

CFP: Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy XI

7-8 May 2020, French Institute/Institut Français, Edinburgh.

 

Keynote speakers:

Alix Cohen (University of Edinburgh)

Philip​pe Hamou (University of Paris X-Nanterre)

 

SSEMP XI is the eleventh 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 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. Since the 2020 edition of the SSEMP takes place at the Institut Français at St. Giles, this year we welcome in particular contributions concerned with relations between Scottish and French philosophy. The SSEMP makes an effort to ensure a reasonable gender balance.

Submissions for the regular program should include a 300-word abstract + contact information gathered in A SINGLE PDF-FILE named: “your-surname.your-brief-title.abstract.pdf” (e.g. “smith.spinoza-and-essences.abstract.pdf’). Do not blind submissions. Graduate students submitting to the regular program should include contact information for one referee (typically the supervisor.) NB: BLINDED OR INCORRECTLY NAMED SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE REGISTERED. Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 January 2020. They should be sent by email to Mogens Lærke on mogenslaerke@hotmail.com. Due to very high numbers of submissions we cannot undertake to provide individual answers 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 (BSHP). 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, including contact information should be gathered in a single pdf-file entitled as follows: “your-surname.your-brief-title.essay.pdf” (e.g “jones.hume-on-habit.essay.pdf”). Do not blind submissions. NB: BLINDED OR INCORRECTLY NAMED SUBMISSIONS WILL NOT BE REGISTERED. Deadline for submissions is 15 January 2020. 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. We do, however, hope to be able to offer sandwich lunches and a conference dinner. Participants should expect two full conference days on 7-8 May.

 

Organisers:

Jonathan Cottrell (University of Edinburgh): j.cottrell@ed.ac.uk

Mogens Lærke (Maison Française d’Oxford): mogenslaerke@hotmail.com

 

Sponsors:

Institut Français, Edinburgh

Philosophy Department, Edinburgh University

Maison Française d’Oxford (MFO)

Scottish Philosophical Association (SPA)

British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP)

 

London Spinoza Circle Graduate Workshop on 21st November 2019

The London Spinoza Circle Graduate Workshop takes place on Thursday 21st November 2019 from 9:45am to 5:00pm at Birkbeck College, University of London, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ.

Programme

9.45 – 10.00:      Welcome

10.00 – 10.30:    Weak Individuals: A Spinozist Perspective – Emanuele Costa, (Birkbeck College and Johns Hopkins University):

10.30 – 11.00   Discussion

 

11.00 – 11.30:     The Second Kind of Knowledge and the Activity of the Ethics – Andrea Ray (University of Chicago)

11.30 – 12.00     Discussion

 

12.00 – 12.30      ‘The Whole Earth is Full of His Glory’: Amor Dei Intellectualis

as Gloria in Ethics V – John Heyderman – (Birkbeck College)

12.30 – 1.00       Discussion

 

1.00 – 2.00          LUNCH BREAK

 

2.00 – 2.30           Hegel and Spinoza on Freedom – Jason Yonover (Johns Hopkins University)

2.30 – 3.00           Discussion

 

3.00 – 3.30           On Laws, Human Nature and Beings of Reason in Spinoza – Kasper Kristensen, Uppsala University

3.30 – 4.00           Discussion

 

4.00 – 4.30           Identity, Agreement and ‘Othering’: Spinoza’s Politics of Recognition –  Steph Marston (Birkbeck College)

4.30 – 5.00       Discussion

 

The full programme including abstracts can be found on the London Spinoza Circle site here.

All are welcome and no registration is required.

Barnaby Hutchins and Ursula Renz at the London Spinoza Circle on 10th October 2019

hutchenss200_ursula.renz

At our meeting on Thursday 10th October 2019, 3.00 – 5.00pm, we are very pleased to have Barnaby Hutchins (Ghent University) and Ursula Renz, (University of Klagenfurt) who will speak on

Spinoza on Human Subjectivity and the Notion of God’s Intellect
Birkbeck, University of London, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

 

Abstract:

Spinoza’s Ethics is frequently interpreted, especially in recent scholarship, as maintaining that everything, including human subjects, is grounded in God or substance – that substance is the sole fundamental feature of reality. At the same time, the perspective of finite minds seems to play a non-trivial role in the constitution of reality. How can this (seeming) tension between these two positions be reconciled? In our paper, we argue for three claims: (1) both positions are necessary for Spinoza’s metaphysics, but neither is reducible to the other; (2) to account for both of them, given their mutual irreducibility, subjectivity itself must be comprehended as a function of finite beings; (3) the notion of infinite intellect plays a transcendental-philosophical role, and is not a metaphysical description of the nature of God. Through the elaboration of these three claims, we propose a new picture of Spinoza’s metaphysics, according to which human subjectivity is an integral, irreducible, and ineliminable – and thereby fundamental – feature of reality.

All welcome and no registration required.

Edwin Curley at the London Spinoza Circle: 2nd May 2019

At the meeting of the London Spinoza Circle on Thursday 2nd May, 3.00 – 5.00pm, Prof. curleyEdwin Curley (University of Michigan) will speak on:

Making Sense of Spinoza’s Metaphysics

Birkbeck, University of London, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

Abstract

In this talk I shall revisit number of central themes in Spinoza’s metaphysics including the principle of charity, the difficulties associated with predicative interpretations of the mode-substance relation, the reason for adopting an interpretation that emphasises the laws of nature, and the roots of Spinoza’s theory of laws in Cartesian philosophy of science. My presentation will draw on two recent papers, ‘Spinoza’s Metaphysics Revisited’ and ‘Laws of Nature in Spinoza’.

 

A presentation of the paper ‘Spinoza’s Metaphysics Revisited’ is available here.

 

All welcome and no registration is required.

Edwin Curley lecture, London

Edwin Curley on “Spinoza, the Enlightenment, and Religious Liberty”
Monday 29 April 2019
Conway Hall, London
World-renowned philosopher, Edwin Curley, brings Baruch Spinoza’s ideas on religious toleration to life.
Details and booking on Eventbrite.

 

What can Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) teach us about how to manage the ferocious divisions of identity, culture, ideology, and faith that riddle our politics today?

Come join us this April 29th to hear distinguished Professor, Edwin Curley’s answer. Curley is an Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Michigan, and one of the world’s foremost experts on the life and thought of Spinoza. He has just recently published the second volume of a complete translation of Spinoza’s works with Princeton University Press.

This is a public lecture, with free entrance, supported by the Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (CEPPA), at the University of St Andrews, as well as by the Royal Institute of Philosophy.

Spaces are limited so do book a ticket in advance.

This event is organized by Alexander Douglas (Philosophy, St Andrews) & Adam Etinson (Philosophy, St Andrews).

Note: the lecture will take place in the Brockway Room.

Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X

University of St. Andrews: Senate Room, St. Mary’s, South Street

8-10 May 2019

 

PROGRAMME

 

Wednesday 8 May

11.00-11.15. Welcome

11.15-12.15. Key Note Speaker: Udo Thiel (University of Graz), “Christian Wolff on Animal Souls, Human Souls, and Personhood.”

12.15-1.00. Peter D. Larsen (Trinity College Dublin), “Berkeley, Plato, and the primary-secondary quality distinction”

1.00-2.15. Lunch

2.15-3.00. Adi Efal (University of Lille III, Charles De Gaulle), “The place of synthesis in methodical proceedings: Ramus and Zabarella’s Ccriticisms of Galen”

3.00-3.45. Lauren Slater (Birkbeck College, London), “Signs established by nature: Representation in Cartesian sensory ideas and the language analogy”

3.45-4.15. Coffee

4.15-5.00. Pedro Faria (Cambridge University), “Hume and the Académie des Inscriptions: the nature of historical evidence in the early eighteenth-century”

*Winner of the 2019 SSEMP Essay Prize, sponsored by the BSHP.

 

Thursday 9 May

10.00-10.45. Jonathan Shaheen (Ghent University), “Notions of substance in Cavendish’s metaphysics”

10.45-11.30. Sebastian Bender (Humboldt University, Berlin), “Conway on species and essences”

11.30-12.15. Qiu Lin (Duke University, Durham, NC), “Émilie du Châtelet’s views on space”

12.15-1.30. Lunch

1.30-2.15. Stefan Leicht (University of Tübingen), “Grotius and Locke on the political effectiveness of Christianity”

2.15-3.00. Adrián Canal (Pontifical Athenaeum Regina Apostolorum, Rome): “The soul and mortalism in the writings of Faustus Socinius and its influence on Locke”

3.00-3.30. Coffee

3.30-4.15. Nabeel Hamid (Concordia University, Montreal), “Machine and mechanistic explanation in Wolff’s cosmology”

4.15-5.15. Key Note Speaker: Teresa Bejan (Oxford University), “Equality Before Egalitarianism”

 

Friday 10 May

10.00-10.45. Jonathan Cottrell (Wayne State University), “What s Humean reasoning?”

10.45-11.30. Brian Ball (Oxford University), “Reid on the nature of judgment”

11.30-12.30. Key Note Speaker: Craig Smith (University of Glasgow), “Re-evaluating Adam Ferguson on Commercial Society: from republican outlier to consummate Moderate”

12.30-1.45 Lunch

1.45-2.30. Adrian Guyot (IHRIM-ENS de Lyon), “The Machiavellian challenge: The reason of state debate in the Spanish Golden Age and the ubiquitous yet problematic presence of Machiavelli in baroque political literature”

2.30-3.15. Sarah Meier (Xavier University of Louisiana), “The political psychology of the Hobbesian Subject”

3.15-4.00. Akos Sivado (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest), “Numbers made certain by the sovereign power: Rhetoric and arithmetic in Sir William Petty’s science of the state”

 

Organisation: James Harris (University of St. Andrews); Mogens Lærke (CNRS, IHRIM, ENS de Lyon)

Funding: University of St. Andrews; Scottish Philosophical Association (SPA); British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP); IHRIM (CNRS-UMR 5317), ENS de Lyon.

Michael A. Rosenthal at the London Spinoza Circle: 21st March 2019

michael_rosenthal_new_headshot_3-15At the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle on Thursday 21st March, 3:00 – 5:00pm,  Prof. Michael A. Rosenthal (University of Washington) will speak on:

“Life as a Marionette:  The Role of the Imagination in Spinoza’s Ethics, Part V”

Birkbeck, University of London, Dreyfus Room, 26 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DQ

Abstract:

The goal of Part V of the Ethics is to show that humans possess the power to be free.  It must be a conception in which freedom is thoroughly compatible with necessity.  It is difficult for us as finite beings to understand this idea and to act in accordance with it.  Spinoza thinks that the main obstacle is the false idea of the free will, i.e., the power to act independently of any system of determinate causes.  Spinoza does not think that we can overcome this prejudice, rooted in our ignorance, so easily. One of the most interesting features of his system is that at key points of his arguments Spinoza has recourse to the very images and passions that he finds problematic in order to produce effects that ultimately make us more reasonable.  It may seem that when we arrive at Part V of the Ethics, the very last part in which he shows us that human freedom is tied to the power of the intellect, we should be able to dispense with these inadequate ideas and proceed solely according to reason.  In this paper, however, I want to argue that perhaps the most important idea—the definition of freedom as acting according to the necessity of our own nature within a determined system—is so difficult to grasp that Spinoza still has to have recourse to the imagination to make sense of it.  In the first propositions of Part V, Spinoza uses reason to sketch an imaginative picture of the self as a kind of marionette. It is not yet what it would be to live according to reason, but what it would be like to live—or as if we are living—according to reason.  Even though, strictly speaking, this image is false, it nonetheless useful.  This thought-image serves as a kind of aid to the individual to become free.

All welcome and no registration is required.

The following meeting on Thursday 2nd May, 3 – 5pm will be Prof. Edwin Curley (University of Michigan), title to be confirmed.