Event: Conference: “Passions and the Origin of Moral Institutions and Civil Society: British Debate from Thomas Hobbes to Adam Smith”

When: 2-5 September, 2015

Where: Charles University in Prague

Link: http://fhs.cuni.cz/FHS-1191.html

Scholars and students from various fields originated or closely connected with British moral philosophy in late 17th and 18th centuries (i.e. philosophy, history, sociology, political thought, economics, etc.) are both welcomed and encouraged to attend a conference presenting and discussing horizons of gradually progressing changes in interpretation of British debate on the origin of moral institutions, civil society and many other subjects of moral philosophy. Opening lecture is to be given by James A. Harris (St Andrews), the editor and contributor to The Oxford Handbook of British Philosophy in the Eighteenth Century, and the author of forthcoming (18 September 2015) monograph on Hume: An Intellectual Biography (CUP). The four panels dedicated to key thinkers representing British debate (Hobbes, Mandeville, Hume and Smith) are to be held and generous space for discussion in a nice and stimulating atmosphere of liberal arts faculty is to be provided. Inspiration for an edited volume and many papers, essays or thesis hopefully will be gained. Moreover, Prague walks, informal dinners, opera, a special guided tour and party allow participants to enjoy conversation, refresh minds and promote encouragement for their diverse missions in the republic of letters and learned.


Lecture: Samuel Fleischacker, “Empathy and Perspective: A Smithian Conception of Humanity”

Where: University of Melbourne, Australia

When: August 4th, 2015

Registration here.

Further Info:

This talk explores Adam Smith’s conception of empathy (roughly, what he called “sympathy”), and its connection, for him, with our understanding of our selves. I begin with a comparison between Smith and David Hume on sympathy, move to the role of perspective-taking in Smith’s discussion of the subject, then look at the degree to which empathy, and perspective-taking, figure in our construction of our identity, for Smith. I conclude by suggesting that Smith introduces a new conception of humanity by way of his view of empathy.

Samuel Fleischacker is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Jewish Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. His publications include The Ethics of Culture (Cornell, 1994), A Third Concept of Liberty: Judgment and Freedom in Kant and Adam Smith (Princeton, 1999), On Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations: A Philosophical Companion (Princeton, 2003), A Short History of Distributive Justice (Harvard, 2004), Divine Teaching and the Way of the World (Oxford, 2011), What Is Enlightenment? The Legacy of a Kantian Question (Routledge, 2013), and The Good and the Good Book(Oxford, 2015). Professor Fleischacker has been a Fellow of the University Center for Human Values at Princeton and the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford.

Posted in the Early Modern Philosophy Calendar

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.