events May 2019

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


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.


Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X

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

8-10 May 2019




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.

Reminder: Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VI

The Dutch Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy VI <> (DSEMP) will take place on *29–30 May 2019*, at the *Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen*, Groningen, Netherlands.

The DSEMP brings together advanced students and established scholars to discuss the latest work in early modern philosophy, broadly conceived. Building on the success of the previous 2014–2018 editions, which gathered philosophers from all over the world, the Seminar offers workshop-style collaborations in order to stimulate scholarly exchange. The language of presentation and discussion is English.

Keynote speakers:

Katherine Brading (Duke University)

Marleen Rozemond (University of Toronto)


Submission guidelines: We welcome abstracts prepared for peer review onany topic related to early modern philosophy, broadly understood (roughly the period 1500–1800 CE). We are especially interested in presentations that discuss philosophical issues or works that have received less sustained scholarly attention, including, but not limited to: non-canonical authors and traditions, anonymous texts, and methodological reflections on doing Early Modern philosophy.

Please submit abstracts (400 words max.) to our EasyChair page <> (first time users will be asked to register with EasyChair).

Deadline for abstract submission: *10 January 2019* (11.59 pm – Amsterdam time). Decisions will follow by the *end of March.* We will send reviewers’ reports with useful feedback on abstracts to all who wish to receive this.

Attendance is free and all are welcome, especially students. No financial assistance can be provided to support travel expenses and accommodation.

Contact: If you have questions, please send an email to Laura Georgescu <> (


Laura Georgescu (University of Groningen)

Andrea Sangiacomo (University of Groningen)

The Dutch Seminar is part of the Activities of the Groningen Centre for Medieval and Early Modern Thought ( and it is supported by Lodi Nauta’s Spinoza Prize Project <—laureaat-nwo-spinozapremie-2016?lang=en>


CFP: Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X

CFP: Scottish Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy X (SSEMP X)

8-10 May 2019, University of St. Andrews


Keynote speakers:

Teresa Bejan (University of Oxford)

Craig Smith (University of Glasgow)

Udo Thiel (University of Graz)


SSEMP X is the tenth 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 particularly 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. SSEMP is conceived as a forum where established academics, early career researchers, and advanced PhD students can meet. We make an effort to assure a reasonable gender balance.

Abstracts for the regular program (approx. 300 words plus 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.) Deadline for submission of abstracts is 15 January 2019. Due to very high numbers of submissions we cannot undertake to respond individually 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. 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 should be gathered in a single pdf or word file. Deadline for submissions is 15 January 2019. 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 program are free to do so.

Please note that the SSEMP cannot provide funding for travel or accommodation for speakers. The SSEMP X will begin on May 8th, 11am, and finish on May 10th, 4pm. For further information about the SSEMP, see


James Harris (University of St. Andrews):

Mogens Lærke (CNRS-IHRIM 5317, ENS de Lyon):



Philosophy Department, University of St. Andrews

Scots Philosophical Association

British Society for the History of Philosophy

IHRIM, CNRS-UMR 5317, ENS de Lyon