Events Mar 2016

Spinoza’s Politics: NASS Group Session at APA Central, Chicago

North American Spinoza Society Group Session at the APA-Central Chicago

Thursday, March 3rd, 2015 9:00am-Noon

“Spinoza’s Politics”

Michael Lebuffe (University of Otago) “Reason and Religion in the Citizen of Spinoza’s State”

James Ong (High Point University) “The Philosophical and Political Significance of Spinoza’s ‘free people’”

Céline Hervet (Université de Picardie-Jules Verne) “Councils, Syndics, Senate and the Power of Speech in Spinoza’s political philosophy: a Naturalistic Source of Deliberative Democracy?”

James Sikkema (McMaster University) “Joining Forces: Towards a Virtual-Political Mereology in Spinoza”

Sandra Field (Yale-NUS) “Aristocracy and the Logic of Spinoza’s Political Philosophy”

Edwin Curley (Michigan) “On the Social Contract in Spinoza”

The Infinite in Early Modern Philosophy

King’s College London Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy:

The Infinite in Early Modern Philosophy

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Room 405, Philosophy Building, Strand Campus, King’s College London, WC2R 2LS



10.00-11.30 – Jennifer Wright (King’s College London), ‘Hume on the Structure of Time: Three Arguments Against Infinite Divisibility.’

11.45-13.15 – Alexander Douglas (Heythrop College, London/St. Andrews), ‘Finitude, Spinoza’s God, and the Curate’s Egg.’

13.15-14.45 – Break

14.45-16.15 – Maria Rosa Antognazza (King’s College London), ‘The Hypercategorematic Infinite.’

16.30-18.00 – Martha Brandt Bolton (Rutgers), ‘Descartes on the Infinity of Extended Substances and the Bodies of Physics.’

Since space as well as access to the College on weekends is limited, please send an email to sarah.tropper[at] in case you are planning to attend.

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.

Jonathan Lear, Spinoza Chair lectures

Jonathan Lear will hold the Spinoza Chair at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Amsterdam in the spring of 2016 and will be delivering the accompanying two Spinoza Lectures on ‘Ironic Anthropos’ and ‘The Unconscious and the Meaning of Life’.

Lear’s first Spinoza Lecture is entitled ‘Ironic Anthropos’.

Does the very attempt to give an account of ourselves get in the way of understanding ourselves? We tend to understand ourselves through concepts we apply to ourselves, but these concepts are vulnerable – both to history and to irony. I may understand myself, say, as Crow Indian or as American, as Dutch or as European, but what happens to the concept when, for instance, the form of life in which I participate is devastated, or there is such a disparity of wealth that the idea of representative democracy is threatened, the promise of free speech is turned upside down, or there are massive immigrations of peoples with no desire to adopt a new way of life? And then, as Socrates showed, even concepts that seem impervious to historical shifts – such as teacher or student or doctor – have an uncanny instability built into them. There is always the possibility of an anxious fluctuation between how these concepts are realized in social formations and what they might call one to. How is one to account for that?

Jonathan Lear is the John U. Nef Distinguished Service Professor at the Committee on Social Thought and in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago.  He currently serves as Director of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, a new research institute within the University. Lear trained in philosophy at Cambridge University and The Rockefeller University. He later trained as a psychoanalyst and has been working with low-fee patients for thirty years.  He is a recent recipient of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Distinguished Achievement Award.

His books include: Radical Hope: Ethics in the Face of Cultural Devastation (2006), Aristotle and Logical Theory (1980), Aristotle: the desire to understand (1988); Love and its place in nature: a philosophical interpretation of Freudian psychoanalysis (1990), Open minded: working out the logic of the soul (1998), Happiness, death and the remainder of life (2000), Therapeutic action: an earnest plea for irony (2003), and Freud (2005). His most recent books is A Case for Irony (Harvard University Press, 2011).

Date and time: Thursday, March 10, 2016, at 20:15. The Aula will open at 19:30.

Location: Aula of the University of Amsterdam, Oude Lutherse kerk, Singel 411, Amsterdam

Admission is free (no reservation required).

On Thursday, Thursday, March 24, 2016, at 20:15 Jonathan Lear will give the second Spinoza Lecture entitled ‘The Unconscious and the Meaning of Life’.

see also:


London Spinoza Circle spring programme

Paul Hirst Room, Politics Department, Birkbeck College, 10 Gower Street, WC1E 7HX

 All Sessions 3:30pm – 5.30pm (except 4 March session which runs 3:00 – 5:00pm) (drinks after)

14 January     Clare Carlisle (King’s College London): Spinoza’s Religion

4 March         Eric Schliesser (University of Amsterdam): Spinoza’s Ethics and the Hebrew Bible *Please note this session runs 3:00 – 5:00 PM*

17 March        Filippo Del Lucchese (Brunel Univesrity London): Norms and Normativity in Spinoza

19 May           Alison Peterman (University of Rochester): Two Approaches to Embodiment

26 May           Martin Lin (University of Chicago): Title TBA

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.