CFA: Early Modern Women on Metaphysics, Religion and Science

Call for Abstracts: Early Modern Women on Metaphysics, Religion and Science

Deadline: 20th October 2015

When: 21-23 March, 2016

Where: University of Groningen


Confirmed Invited Speakers:

  • Sarah Hutton (Aberystwyth, UK)
  • Jacqueline Broad (Monash, Australia)
  • Susan James (Birkbeck, UK)
  • Andrew Janiak (Duke, USA)
  • Karen Detlefsen (University of Pennsylvania, USA)
  • David Cunning (University of Iowa, USA)
  • Deborah Boyle (College of Charleston, USA)
  • Tom Stoneham (York, UK)
  • Ruth Hagengruber (Universität Paderborn, Germany)
  • Mirjam de Baar (University of Groningen, Netherlands)

CFP: Hume Society Conference 2016

Call for Papers: Hume Society Conference 2016

When: July 19-23, 2016

Where: Sydney, Australia

Call for Papers: papers should be no more than thirty minutes reading length (4000 words) and should be submitted with an Abstract (200 words). All self-references should be deleted for anonymous review. Papers and abstracts must be submitted in English. Papers should not have been published by the date of the conference. Authors may submit their papers as either MS Word documents or in rich text format (.rtf). Deadline for submissions: November 1, 2015.

Event: Themes from Smith to Rousseau, Glasgow (UK), 20-22 July

The International Adam Smith Society and the Rousseau Association will hold a joint meeting at The University of Glasgow 20-22 July 2015. The meeting aims to bring together scholars with an interest in the work of either or both of these thinkers with a view to stimulating discussion of their shared interests and the relationship between two prominent members of the Enlightenment. The meeting will take the form of a series of panels in a workshop format and is being supported by a grant from the British Academy / Leverhulme Research Grant Scheme.

Book: Jacqueline Taylor, “Reflecting Subjects: Passion, Sympathy, and Society in Hume’s Philosophy

This is the new book by Jacqueline Taylor (University of San Francisco), published by Oxford University Press. You can buy it at OUP (£35.00) or Amazon (US$60.00).

Below is the description of the book from Amazon. I will post an academic review as soon as I find one.

Jacqueline Taylor offers an original reconstruction of Hume’s social theory, which examines the passions and imagination in relation to institutions such as government and the economy. Reflecting Subjects begins with a close examination of Hume’s use of an experimental method to explain the origin, nature and effects of pride, an indirect passion that reflects a person’s sense of self-worth in virtue of her valuable qualities, for example, her character or wealth. In explaining the origin of pride in terms of efficient causes, Hume displaces the traditional appeal to final causes, and is positioned to give an account of the significance for us of the passions in terms of a social theory. Subsequent chapters reconstruct this social theory, looking in particular at how the principle of sympathy functions to transmit cultural meanings and values, before examining Hume’s account of social power–especially with regard to rank and sex. Turning to Hume’s system of ethics, Taylor argues for the importance of Hume’s more sophisticated moral philosophy in hisEnquiry concerning the Principles of Morals, since it emphasizes certain virtues of good moral evaluation. She demonstrates that the principle of humanity stands as the central concept of Hume’s Enlightenment philosophy.

Event: Hume and Naturalism workshop, Durham (UK), July 16-17th

Invited contributors:

Dr. Lorenzo Greco (University of Oxford) Dr. Peter Kail (University of Oxford) Prof. Jacqueline Taylor (University of San Francisco) Prof. Saul Traiger (Occidental College)

Hume’s work has been regarded by many as a strong influence on the formation of philosophical naturalism, and it is clear that naturalism informs Hume’s work on epistemology, philosophy of mind and ethics, amongst other topics. More generally some influential interpretations regard Hume’s naturalism as helping to lay the foundations for a ‘disenchanted’ conception of the world. However, recent work on the character of philosophical naturalism, for example work seeking to present and defend non-reductive, less scientistic forms of naturalism, suggest different ways to interpret Hume’s work. There may be reasons to maintain that Hume’s naturalism represents the kind of view opposed by these alternative forms. But, arguably, there are a number of ways that our understanding of Hume can be enhanced by adopting different conceptions of what naturalism amounts to. This workshop aims to identify and explore the range of interpretive possibilities in this context.

Paper: “On Humean Explanation and Practical Normativity”, Graham Hubbs

Prof. Graham Hubbs (University of Idaho) sent us his latest paper, published in the spring 2015 issue of the Journal of the American Philosophical Association. It can be found here.


If Hume is correct that the descriptive and the normative are ‘entirely different’ matters, then it would seem to follow that endorsing a given account of action-explanation does not restrict the account of practical normativity one may simultaneously endorse. In this essay, I challenge the antecedent of this conditional by targeting its consequent. Specifically, I argue that if one endorses a Humean account of action-explanation, which many find attractive, one is thereby committed to a Humean account of practical normativity, which many find unattractive. The key to this argument is showing that the justificatory base of any anti-Humean normative view is a generic representation of ideal rationality, which precludes any such view from combining coherently with a Humean account of action-explanation. If my arguments are successful, they demonstrate a way in which one’s views in action theory can both limit and be limited by the ethical views one endorses.

Book: Chirstopher J. Berry, “The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment

Christopher Berry (University of Glasgow) released the paperback version of his latest book, “The Idea of Commercial Society in the Scottish Enlightenment”.

It shows convincingly, in impressive range and detail, how Scottish Enlightenment thinkers developed a conception of emerging commercial or capitalist society as a qualitatively new social formation, distinct from all previous ones, with new potentials for human enrichment and liberation, but also with its own troubles and concerns. (Marx & Philosophy Review of Books)

More generally Berry utilises a synthetic approach to his sources that accords with his stated view that the Scottish enlightenment was an extended debate amongst contemporaries about the changes they were witnessing.Hume’s views, for instance, are read in the light of statements made by Smith or Kames, and a single integrated Scottish perspective is ultimately proposed. Where differences of kind existed these are noted, but the effect is to provide a holistic argument – a Scottish school of thought. (Michael Brown, The Scottish Historical Review)

The book, published by Edinburgh University Press, is available at Amazon.