events Mar 2017

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.”

Oxford Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

Oxford Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy: Philosophy of/and Education

Mon 13-Tues 14 March, 2017

Mansfield College

Oxford, OX1 3TF


Attendance is free and all are welcome, but we ask that you register by emailing:

In addition, there is a conference dinner (£25) on Mon 13th, for which registration and prepayment is required.


Monday March 13

9.00-9.30 – Registration and coffee

9.30-10.30 ‘Spinozan Pedagogy.’  Julie Klein (Villanova University)

10.30-11.30  ‘Locke on Habit and Experience in the Formation of the Self.’ Anik Waldow (University of Sydney)

11.30-12.00 – Break

12.00-1.00 ‘Domesticating Descartes: Johann Clauberg’s Scholasticization of the New Science.’  Nabeel Hamid (University of Pennsylvania)

1.00-2.30 – LUNCH

2.30-3.30  ‘Adam Smith’s Remarks on Education.’  Anna Markwart (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń)

3.30-4.30 ‘Music as Moral Authenticity: Reinstating the Role of Music in Rousseau’s Philosophy of Education.’ Valerie Kuzmina (University of Ottawa)

4.30-5.00 – Break

5.00-6.00 ‘Emilie Du Châtelet on Education and Women’s Minds.’ Karen Detlefsen (University of Pennsylvania)


Tuesday March 14

9.00-9.30 — Coffee

9.30-10.30 ‘Going to School with Luther: 18th–Century German Philosophical Conceptions of the Modern University and Their Lutheran Heritage.’ Lim Lung Chieh (University of Ottawa)

10.30-11.30 ‘The Socratic Pedagogy of Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz.’ Sergio A. Gallegos (Metropolitan St. University of Denver) & Adriana Clavel (University of Sheffield)

11.30-12.00 – Break

12.00-1.00 ‘”For the Want Whereof This Nation Perishes”: John Milton on Education.’ Teresa Bejan (University of Oxford)

Lunch – 1.00-2.30

2.30-3.30 ‘Shifting Epistemic Authority and the Role of Education.’ Lisa Shapiro (Simon Fraser University)