Events March 2018

Steven Nadler at Seminaire Spinoza a Paris 8

You are invited to join us Thursday March 29th from 6pm-8pm at the University Paris 8 (room J103, metro line 13) for a talk by Steven Nadler on Spinoza and Menasseh ben Israel. Nadler’s talk will be in French. Please see below for more information.


*Séminaire Spinoza à Paris 8*

*Jeudi 29 MARS 2018, 18h-20h*

*Université Paris 8 Vincennes Saint-Denis, Salle J103*


*Steven NADLER*

*« Spinoza et Menasseh ben Israël : des fictions et des faits »*

“Il y a beaucoup de mythologie au sujet des relations entre Spinoza et Menasseh ben Israël, le rabbin de la congrégation portugaise d’Amsterdam et sans doute un des juifs les plus connus au monde pendant son vivant au dix-septième siècle. Menasseh, était-t-il vraiment l’inspirateur et le maître intellectuel du jeune Spinoza ? Dans cette communication, nous examinerons les faits et les fictions au sujet des rapports personnels et philosophiques entre le philosophe et le rabbin.” S.N.

Steven Nadler est Professeur de philosophie et d’études juives à l’Université de Wisconsin-Madison (États-Unis), où il est aussi Directeur de l’Institut de recherche en sciences humaines. Spécialiste de la philosophie moderne, et particulièrement de Spinoza, plusieurs de ses livres ont été déjà traduits en français, dont *Spinoza -une vie* (Paris :Bayard, 2003, tr. par Jean-François Sené), sa célèbre biographie ; *Le meilleur des mondes possibles -La rencontre entre Leibniz, Malebranche, et Arnaud* (Paris : Bayard, 2011, tr. de Sophie Gallé-Soas) ; et *Le philosophe, le prêtre et le peintre -Portrait de Descartes au Siècle d’Or* (Paris : Alma, 2015, tr. de Myriam Dennehy).


*Spinoza à Paris 8*

*Programme 2017-2018* (upcoming)


*Jeudi 12 avril 2018 : Daniel GARBER*

*« Y a-t-il une théorie de la conscience chez Spinoza ? »*


*Jeudi 17 mai 2018 : Yves CITTON*

*« Spinoza médiologue ? Spinoza écologue ? Discussion de Éthique II, 14-29 »*


*Jeudi 14 juin 2018 : Toni NEGRI*

*« Quelques réflexions sur la peur chez Spinoza »*


*Séminaire International et Interdisciplinaire de Recherches Spinozistes* <>


*Organisé par **Charles Ramond* <>* et **Jack Stetter* <>*, avec le soutien de l’EA 4008 LLCP.*

Responsable Audio-Vidéo Carmen Alves <>*.*

02, rue de la Liberté, Saint-Denis (93). Métro « Saint-Denis Université ».

Entrée libre. Se munir d’une pièce d’identité.

Alexander Douglas at London Spinoza Circle

For the next meeting of the London Spinoza Circle, we are pleased to have Dr Alexander Douglas (University of St. Andrews) who will speak on:

Spinoza and the British Idealists: Acosmism, Determination, and Negation

Thursday 22nd March, 3pm to 5pm

Room 402, Birkbeck College Main Building, Malet St,  London WC1E 7HX. (Entrance from Torrington Square).

I examine the acosmist reading of Spinoza, first proposed by German philosophers and then developed in detail by British Idealist philosophers. According to this reading, Spinoza is implicitly committed to the view that nothing truly exists besides God. The cogency of this reading, as is well-known, depends on what Spinoza means in saying that “determination is negation”. While most schoålars have focussed on the meaning of “determination”, I propose an interpretation of “negation” that would Spinoza to avoid the conclusions pushed upon him by the British Idealists. I then speculate on why the British Idealists might have rejected this interpretation.

All welcome and no registration is required.

London Spinoza Circle website:

Spinoza Circle, London

At the next meeting of the Spinoza Circle, we are very pleased to have Dr. Daniel Whistler (Royal Holloway, University of London) who will speak on

How to Speak of Eternity? Rhetoric in Ethics V

Thursday 1st March, 3.30 – 5.00pm

Room 101, Birkbeck College, 30 Russell Square, WC1B 5DT


My aim in this paper is to investigate the stylistic idiosyncrasies of Part V of Spinoza’s Ethics by focusing on the experience of the reader encountering this text: what is missed in most accounts of this passage, I argue, is the rhetorical effect of Spinoza’s language on a reader approaching the end of the book. The reader experiences hermeneutic anxiety upon encountering a God who loves, rejoices and glories in a relatively traditional manner after the iconoclastic dismantling of the traditional attributes of God in Parts I to IV. I suggest that such anxiety is intentionally provoked, for it emerges out of a reflective attitude towards the text and its choice of language, and such reflection on language is a means of ‘rhetorical therapy’ that makes the communication of adequate ideas possible.

The paper examines, first, the peculiar rhetorical devices at play in Part V, and, secondly, whether there are good philosophical reasons for such peculiarity. I then use such an analysis to think further about Spinoza’s attitude to language in general, concluding that thinking through the implications of the linguistic signs as affect allows one to posit the existence of a rhetorical therapy in Spinoza’s thinking.

All are welcome and no registration is required.

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).



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



CFA: Pacific Northwest/Western Canada SEMP


Pacific Northwest/Western Canada Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

Meeting at the University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA

March 2-4, 2018

The meeting of the Pacific Northwest/Western Canada Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy will be held at the University of Washington over the weekend of 2-4 of March, 2018.  Lisa Shapiro (Simon Fraser University) will be the keynote speaker.

As with other Seminars in Early Modern Philosophy, papers on any subject in early modern philosophy (roughly, the period from Montaigne to Kant) are welcome. We particularly encourage papers which suggest new or less frequently discussed topics, themes, and critical approaches to the history of modern philosophy, discuss and familiarize the group with new texts, or deploy an interdisciplinary approach. We welcome submissions from advanced graduate students.  Submitted abstracts will be peer reviewed anonymously by a group of faculty from universities throughout the region. Reading time of papers should be approximately 45 minutes.

Submissions: Please send an abstract of no more than 600 words by November 20, 2017. Abstracts should not contain identifying information, which should appear on a separate cover page. We prefer that abstracts be sent electronically by attachment in PDF format to: Michael Rosenthal (

Attendance is free and all are welcome.  Please note that no financial assistance can be provided to support travel expenses and accommodation.

Details on the program and accommodations will be available in early January.  You can find a copy of this call for abstracts on this webpage, which will also link you to further program information when it becomes available: