Events May 2016

Equal by Design: Scottish premiere

Equal by Design, a documentary film about Spinoza, equality, wellbeing, and housing. Tickets available now for the Scottish premiere on 28 May, 2016 at the University of Aberdeen.

Information about a London screening is coming soon!

Equalities of Wellbeing in Philosophy and Architecture

Equal by Design, project film of the Equalities of Wellbeing project, will have its Scottish premiere at the University of Aberdeen May Festival on Saturday 28 May at 4:00 PM.

Equal by Design, by Peg Rawes and Beth Lord, directed by Adam Low and produced by Lone Star Productions, is a 25-minute documentary exploring how Spinoza’s philosophy connects to housing design for wellbeing and the current crisis in affordable housing.

Following the film screening there will be a discussion and Q&A with the project team, the filmmakers, and Rosemary Brotchie of Shelter Scotland.

Tickets are free but must be booked in advance. Book your tickets online here.

Holmes place m.s

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Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VII


5-6 May 2016

Keynote Speakers:

Matthew Daniel Eddy (Durham)

Sylvana Tomaselli (Cambridge)



Thursday, 5 May

9.00-9.15     Welcome and Coffee.

Session I: Hobbes and Locke

9.15-10.00     Maximilian Jaede (St. Andrews), Hobbes’s Critique of Natural Sociability Reconsidered

10.00-10.45   Tim Stuart-Buttle (Cambridge), Locke on the “Two Provinces of Knowledge

10.45-11.00     Break

Session II: Cambridge Platonism

11.00-11.45     Matthew Leisinger (Yale), Cudworth’s Moral Vision

11.45-12.30     Christ Meyns (Cambridge/University College London), Henry More against Monopsychism

12.30-14.00     Lunch

Keynote 1

14.00-15.00     Sylvana Tomaselli (Cambridge), Women and Political Philosophy in Les siècles de la femme

15.00-15.30     Break

Session III: Spinoza

15.30-16.15     Alex Silverman (Chicago), The Disappearance of “Substance”: A Textual Oddity in Spinoza’s Corpus

16.15-17.00     Alexander Douglas (Heythrop College/St. Andrews), Spinoza and Money

17.00-17.15     Break

Special Session: SSEMP Essay Prize winner

17.15-18.00     Takaharu Oda (Groningen), Berkeley’s Arguable Concurrentism


Friday, 6 May

9.30-9.45       Coffee

Session IV: Bayle and Leibniz

9.45-10.30       Mara van der Lugt (Göttingen), Pain, Pessimism and the Problem of Evil in Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire (1696)

10.30-11.15     Christopher Noble (Villanova), Leibniz on Knowledge and Action in Essais de théodicée, § 403.

11.15-11.30     Break

Keynote 2

11.30-12.30     Matthew Daniel Eddy (Durham), Children, Science, and the Graphic Foundations of Reason, 1760-1800

12.30-14.00     Lunch

Session V: The Scottish Enlightenment

14.00-14.45     Alessio Vaccari (Sapienza, Rome), Hume on Resentment, Justice, and the Origins of Society

14.45-15.30     Sonia Boussange-Andrei (Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne), On Adam Ferguson’s Critique of Adam Smith’s Theory of Sympathy

15.30-16.00     Break

Session VI: The French Enlightenment

16.00-16.45     Jeremy Dunham (Sheffield), Condillac on the Acquisition of Cognitive Habits

16.45-17.30     Jared Holley (Chicago), Refined Epicureanism and Rousseau’s Political Thought



James Harris (University of St. Andrews) Mogens Lærke (CNRS, UMR 5317, ENS de Lyon)


The event is sponsored by:

Scots Philosophical Association

Institute for Intellectual History, St. Andrews Philosophy department, St. Andrews British Society for the History of Philosophy (BSHP) IHRIM, UMR 5317, ENS de Lyon


For further information, please write Mogens Laerke ( or James Harris (

Summer Institute on Spinoza and German Idealism

Department of Philosophy and Centre for Jewish Studies
University of Toronto, May 16-20, 2016

Eckart Förster (Johns Hopkins University)
Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University)

Nick Stang (University of Toronto)
G. Anthony Bruno (University of Toronto Scarborough)

Call for applications:

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the deep influence of Spinoza on German philosophy. From controversies over freedom and determinism in the time of Christian Wolff, through the Pantheismusstreit and the threat of nihilism in the time of Kant, to the reappraisal of Spinoza’s monism by the post-Kantian idealists, Spinoza and Spinozism—sometimes an enemy, sometimes a guiding light—have been intimately connected to major currents in modern German thought.

The Department of Philosophy and the Centre for Jewish Studies at the University of Toronto are pleased to host a one-week intensive summer institute that will take place May 16-20, 2016 and whose theme will be Spinoza and German Idealism. Our keynote presenters will be Eckart Förster (Johns Hopkins University) and Yitzhak Melamed (Johns Hopkins University). To foster an interdisciplinary atmosphere, we invite applications from PhD students in philosophy, German studies, religion, history, and Judaic studies.

The format of the institute will be a series of seminar-style discussions of primary texts, led by our keynote speakers. Readings will be distributed by PDF in advance of the meeting in Toronto.

Topics to be studied may include:

– Spinoza, Jacobi, and the Pantheismusstreit
– Kant’s Critique of Spinoza
– Spinoza, Biblical Faith, and the ‘Religion of Reason’
– Maimon and the Rise of Spinozism in German Idealism
– Spinoza and Mendelssohn’s Morgenstunden
– Spinozistic Monism and Hegel’s Logic
– Spinoza’s Amor Dei Intellectualis and Intellectual Intuition
– The Jewish and Lutheran Background to German Reception of Spinoza
– The Influence Spinoza’s Theologico-Political Treatise on 19th C. German Philosophy of Right

PhD students writing their dissertations on these or related topics are encouraged to apply by sending: (1) a 1-page (double-spaced) letter of interest explaining their research and how it fits with the theme of the institute, (2) a CV and (3) a sample of academic writing (no longer than 15 pages). Applications should be emailed to by 28 February 2016; decisions will be returned by 15 March 2016. Some funding for travel and accommodation may be available for accepted participants.

Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy (SSEMP) VII

5-6 May 2016

University of St. Andrews

Key Note Speakers: Sylvana Tomaselli (Cambridge), Matthew Daniel Eddy (Durham)

The SSEMP IV is the seventh 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, politics, intellectual history and/or the history of science. Presentations should be in English and approximately 45 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, as 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 2016. They should be sent by email to Mogens Lærke on Those who wish to submit a proposal both as a complete text for the essay competition and as a short abstract for the regular programme are free to do so.

Abstracts for the regular programme (approx. 300 words, abstract and contact information in a single pdf or word file) should be sent by email to Mogens Lærke on Graduate students submitting to the regular program should include contact information for one referee (typically the supervisor.)

The deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 January 2016. 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 by 15 February should consider their submission declined.

Please note that the SSEMP cannot provide funding for travel or accommodation for speakers.


Dr. James Harris (University of St Andrews) Dr. Mogens Lærke (CNRS, ENS de Lyon)


The Scots Philosophical Association

Philosophy Department, St. Andrews

Institute of Intellectual History, St Andrews Institut d’histoire de la pensée classique, ENS de Lyon


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