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Archive for September, 2013

Locke Workshop Final CFA

Just a reminder that the abstract submission deadline for the Locke Workshop is Tuesday, October 1! 

 

March 17-18, 2014
Locke Workshop
Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, NY

Keynote speaker: Kenneth Winkler (Yale University)
“Locke on the Social Construction of Kinds.”

Papers on any topic in John Locke’s philosophy are welcome.

Please send paper abstracts (of no more than 500 words) to: 
Jessica Gordon-Roth (jgordonroth@gmail.com

Abstract Deadline: October 1, 2013
Program announcement: November 15, 2013

Co-organizers: Jessica Gordon-Roth (Lehman College, CUNY) and Benjamin Hill (University of Western Ontario)

For more information, please visit: https://sites.google.com/site/lockeworkshop/home

 

 

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On March 21st and 22nd, I will be hosting a conference on Sentiment and Reason in Early Modern Ethics here at UB.  As of this week, the full line-up of speakers and commenters has been finalized.  I am very excited about the way the conference is shaping up!  I want to stress how impressed I was with the breadth and quality of submissions I received for the conference.  It seems like there is a lot of interesting work being done in early modern ethics, and I hope that we start seeing more opportunities for people to present work on those topics.

Here is the full lineup for the conference:

Invited Speakers:

  • Kate Abramson (Indiana)
  • Rachel Cohon (Albany)
  • Geoff Sayre-McCord (Chapel Hill)

Submitted Papers:

“Partial Emotions and Impartial Moral Judgments: Can Humean Sentimentalists Have it Both Ways?”

  • Paper by: Max Barkhausen (NYU)
  • Comments from: Miriam Schlieffer-McCormick (Richmond)

“The Role of Sympathy in Reid’s Action Theory”

  • Paper by: Marina Folescu (Missouri-Columbia)
  • Comments from: Esther Kroeker (Antwerp)

“Leibniz and the Humean Gap between Knowledge and Motivation”

  • Paper by: Julia Jorati (Ohio State University)
  • Comments from: Larry Jorgensen (Skidmore)

“Descartes and Princess Elisabeth on the Regulation of Disordered Passions”

  • Paper by: Lauren Kopajtic (Harvard)
  • Comments from: Shoshana Brassfield (Frostburg)

“Spinoza’s Changing Problem is No Problem At All”

  • Paper by: Eugene Marshall (Wellesley)
  • Comments from: Martin Lin (Rutgers)

“Adam Smith’s Sentimentalist Account of Reason’s Ability to Motivate”

  • Paper by: John McHugh (Denison)
  • Comments from: Imola Ilyes (York)

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We’re pleased to announce that the Mod Squad will host a second author meets critics event, this one on Yitzhak Melamed’s Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance and Thought (Oxford University Press, 2013). The event will feature posts on the book by three critics — Lia Levy, Alan Nelson, and Alison Peterman — and responses from the author. All posts will be open for comments.

The event is still some time away. But in the meantime, if you haven’t seen the previous event, on Antonia Lolordo’s Locke’s Moral Man, you can find it here.

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NYC Early Modern Philosophy Events site

There is a new site for early modernists that catalogues talks, conferences and other events in the New York City area: 
 
 
The site is maintained by Jessica Gordon-Roth (Lehman College, CUNY) and Justin Steinberg (Brooklyn College, CUNY).
It is very much a work in progress, so please be in touch with any questions, concerns, corrections or additions. And bookmark it to check on future events!
 
Jessica Gordon-Roth: Jessica.GordonRoth (at) lehman (dot) cuny (dot) edu
Justin Steinberg: Jsteinberg (at) brooklyn (dot) cuny (dot) edu

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Sorry for the lack of recent activity, but it is somewhat predictable that things with the blog would slow down a bit as the semester starts.

In my view, one of the most valuable skills that we are especially well situated to focus on in history of modern classes is that of charitable or sympathetic interpretation.

Given the magnitude of differences between our contemporary perspectives and dogmas, and those of the modern period, there are constant opportunities to get students to try and occupy perspectives far removed from their own.

What I thought might be nice is a discussion of what sorts of assignments or exercises we could use to try and encourage/assist students to develop this skill.

Of the exercises I’ve developed along those lines, the one that I am most happy with came from a course on the British Empiricists.

That exercise (available here) concerns Locke and Leibniz on Molyneux’s Problem.  The exercise asks the students to do the following:

1) State and explain Locke’s view that ideas of sensation are altered by judgment.

2) State Molyneux’s question (as presented by Locke), and the answer Locke ascribes to Molyneux

3) State and explain Leibniz’s answer to the Molyneux question.

4) Say which answer is more compelling.

5) For the less compelling answer, explain what might lead someone to take that side.

6) For the less compelling answer, identify something you dislike about it, and see if that can be fixed, while keeping the basic idea intact.

Obviously, tasks (5) and (6) are the ones that bear most directly on charitable interpretation.  And when I grade the assignment, I usually have higher hopes/standards for answers to (5) than (6), since (6) is a much more difficult task to do well.

Of course, I’ve only been able to use this exercise a small number of times, and my own experiences are somewhat limited.  I’d love to hear what other people do in their exercises/assignments/teaching to try and emphasize the skill of charitable interpretation.

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Locke Workshop website

Locke Workshop website

The Locke Workshop now has a website.

Please check it out and don’t forget to submit abstracts!

 
 

March 17-18, 2014
Locke Workshop
Lehman College, CUNY
Bronx, NY

Keynote speaker: Kenneth Winkler (Yale University)

Papers on any topic in John Locke’s philosophy are welcome.

Please send paper abstracts (of no more than 500 words) to: 
Jessica Gordon-Roth (jgordonroth@gmail.com) 

Abstract Deadline: October 1, 2013
Program Announcement: November 15, 2013

Contacts/hosts: Jessica Gordon-Roth, Lehman College, CUNY (jgordonroth@gmail.com) and Benjamin Hill, University of Western Ontario (bhill28@uwo.ca)

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