Past events

The Fourth Finnish-Hungarian Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

29–30 May 2017
University of Turku

Artium, Seminar Hall Hovi V105 (Kaivokatu 12, Turku)

Monday, 29 May

10.30 Martin Benson (Stony Brook): The Power of Affectivity: The Ground of the Good in Spinoza’s Ethics

11.30 Daniel Fogal (Uppsala): Descartes and the Possibility of Enlightened Freedom

13.30 Laetitia Ramelet (Lausanne): Pufendorf’s Solution to the Puzzle of Consent and Natural Law

15.00 Martin Pickup (Oxford): The Infinity of Analysis and Leibniz’s Problems of Proof

16.00 Mike Griffin (CEU): Leibniz on Infinite Analysis

Tuesday, 30 May

9.30 Ville Paukkonen (Helsinki): Berkeley’s Theory of Agent Causation: Finite and Infinite Agents and the Question of Necessary Connections

10.30 Julia Jorati (Ohio State): Emilie du Châtelet’s Agent-Causal Compatibilist Theory of Freedom

11.30 Lloyd Strickland (Manchester Metropolitan): The Fourth Hypothesis on the Union of Soul and Body

13.30 Jani Hakkarainen (Tampere) & Todd Ryan (Trinity College): Hume on Possible Duration without Possible Temporal Parts

15.00 Sebastian Bender (HU Berlin) & Till Hoeppner (Potsdam): Leibniz and Kant on Representations and Minds

16.00 Dai Heide (Simon Fraser): A Mereological Argument for the Non-Spatiotemporality of Things in Themselves


The Organizing Committee

Valtteri Viljanen (Turku) Mike Griffin (CEU) Vili Lähteenmäki (Helsinki) Judit Szalai (ELTE)


Knowledge as Assimilation

Helsinki, 9-11 June

Preliminary Programme

Day 1

9.30-10 José Filipe Silva and Christina Thomsen-Thörnqvist, OPENING WORDS

10-11 Eyfi Emilsson, Plotinus on Perceptual Judgment and Innateness

11-12 Sarah Byers, Victorinus and Augustine on the Identity of Content Known in First and Second Actuality of Knowledge

12-14 LUNCH

14-15 Jörn Müller, Truth as adequation in Thomas Aquinas: Some problems

15-16 Therese Cory, Assimilation vs. Representation: A Proposal regarding Intelligible Species in Aquinas

16-16.30 COFFEE

16.30-17.30 KEYNOTE 1: Mohan Matthew, Perception as Spatial Representation

Day 2

9.30-10.30 Jon McGinnis, Some Becoming Remarks: Avicenna’s Criticism of the Assimilation Theory of Cognition and of Becoming the Intelligible Object

10.30-11 COFFEE

11-12 Carla Di Martino, Rationality in Perception. Avicenna and Aquinas

12-13 Cecilia Trifogli, Thomas Aquinas and Giles of Rome on the Reception of Forms without the Matter

13-14.30 LUNCH

14.30-15.30 Dominik Perler, Is Assimilation Possible? Suárez on Intellectual Cognition

15.30-16 COFFEE

16-17 Keynote 2: Pavel Gregoric, The Intellect and its Objects in Aristotle’s De Anima III.4

Day 3

10-11 Pauliina Remes, Platonists on Starting Points of Reasoning

11-11.30 COFFEE

11.30-12.30 Jari Kaukua, Avicenna’s Empiricism Reconsidered

12.30-13.30 Ana Maria Mora Marquez, Intellectual knowledge of the particular (1250-1350)

13.30-15 LUNCH

15-16.30 RiP Workshop

Nature, Mind, and Action in Leibniz

Workshop, University of Turku, June 1–2, 2017

Room: SH 150 (Publicum)

Thursday June 1

9:30 Stephan Schmid (Hamburg): “Leibniz’s Concept of the Will and the Non-Rational Strivings of Monads”

10:45 Valtteri Viljanen (Turku): “Leibniz and Locke on Deliberation”

13:30 Julia Borcherding (Yale): “Leibniz on Moral Instincts”

14:45 Julia Jorati (Ohio): “Embodied and Disembodied Cognition in Leibniz”

16:15 Peter Myrdal & Arto Repo (Turku): “Leibniz on Ideas”

Friday June 2

10:00 Ohad Nachtomy (Bar-Ilan): “Monads at the Top, Monads at the Bottom, Monads All Over”

11:15 Sebastian Bender (Humboldt): “Leibniz and the Puzzle of Independence”

14:00 Nabeel Hamid (Penn): “Optimality Principles in Leibniz’s Natural Philosophy”

15:15 Paolo Rubini (Helsinki): “Loss of Motion: Leibniz on the Phenomenon of Friction”

Organizers: Peter Myrdal & Valtteri Viljanen

The workshop is open to everyone. No registration is needed.

Perception, Knowledge, and Assimilation

Junior Scholar Workshop

Monday, June 12, 2017University of Helsinki

Auditorium IV (main building), Fabianinkatu 33


9.30-10.00     Registration & Welcome

MORNING SESSION (Chair: ANSELM OELZE, University of Helsinki)

10.00-11.00    MATTHIEU MOULLEC (Sorbonne, Paris): “Learning Outside the World. Assimilation of Knowledge in Plotinus’ Work”

11.00-12.00     DAVLAT DADIKHUDA (LMU, Munich): “Avicenna Keeping it Real. Sense Perception in The Healing; al-Nafs II.2”

12.00-13.30     LUNCH


13.30-14.30     PALOMA HERNÁNDEZ RUBIO (UAM, Mexico City): “De re praedicatur. Intentiones and forma totius according to Albertus Magnus”

14.30-15.30     PETER WEST (Trinity College, Dublin): “Berkeley’s Anti-Abstractionism As a Grounds for the Likeness Principle”

15.30-16.00     COFFEE

KEYNOTE LECTURE (Chair: JOSÉ FILIPE SILVA, University of Helsinki)

16.00-17.00    PAOLO RUBINI (University of Helsinki): “Accidental Perception and Cogitative Power in Thomas Aquinas and John of Jandun”

19.00   DINNER

The workshop is organised and funded by the European Research Council project Rationality in Perception: Transformations of Mind and Cognition 1250-1550. It is part of the Nordic Network for the History of Philosophy workshop series.

Paper by Richard Velkley (Tulane University)

May 23, 14.15-16.00 in room 16.1.16

Thought as Action: Regulation and Expansion of the Mind for Freedom in John Locke

Organiser: History of Philosophy Research Group / Division of Philosophy, University of Copenhagen

The event is open to all students and researchers. If you wish to attend, please register in advance by Leo Catana (catana[at]

Plato’s Political Philosophy

May 24, 12:15 – 17:00 in room 27.0.49

Plato’s political philosophy has been debated intensively by a number of scholars over the last decades, challenging the traditional interpretation of Plato as a utopian. In this workshop we intend to examine Plato’s comments on political participation — that is, the politician’s or the citizen’s active involvement in the polis’ institutions. These comments are scattered in various dialogues: Some of them seem to fall within the category of utopian political philosophy, others seem to fall within quite another category, namely realist comments on existing constitutional framework and on-going political practices. Moreover, we want to pay attention to the way in which late ancient Platonists interpreted these aspects of Plato’s political philosophy.

Catherine Rowett (University of East Anglia): Doing philosophy the Genealogy Way: Bernard Williams and Plato’s Republic

Vivil Haraldsen (University of Oslo): Utopia or Atopos? Reading Plato’s Republic as Political Education

Anders Dahl Sørensen (University of Copenhagen): Plato on Lawful Democracy

Leo Catana (University of Copenhagen): Plato on Recognition in the Realm of Politics: Gorgias 513a-c

Bert van den Berg (University of Leiden): Philotimia: The Neoplatonic Psychology of a Political Emotion

Organiser: History of Philosophy Research Group / Division of Philosophy, University of Copenhagen

The event is open to all students and researchers. If you wish to attend, please register in advance by Leo Catana (catana[at]

De anima in the Arabic tradition

Gothenburg, 28-29 April 2017

Workshop within the framework of the programme “Representation and Reality: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on the Aristotelian Tradition.”

Venue: Stora konferensrummet, 8th Floor, Lundgrensgatan 7

Friday, April 28

14:30-15:30 Tommaso Alpina (Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa) “Soul of / soul in itself in Avicenna: a diachronic perspective”

15:30-16:00 Coffee

16:00-17:00 Kutlu Okan (University of Jyväskylä) “Is the Active Intellect Necessary: A Presentation on Abu’l-Barakat’s Understanding of the Aql al-Faal”

Saturday, April 29

10:15-11:15 Stephen Ogden (Johns Hopkins University) “Ibn Rushd on the Nature of the Intellects in De Anima III”

11:15-11:30 Coffee

11:30-12:30 Cécile Bonmariage (Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique / Université catholique de Louvain) “Sadr al-Din Shirazi on knowledge, intellection and the Active Intellect”

If you are interested in attending please contact Jakob Leth Fink.


Political Philosophy: Between Reason and Revelation

February 28, 14:15-16:00

University of Copenhagen, The Faculty of Humanities, Southern
Campus, Karen Blixens Vej 4, 2300 Copenhagen S: Room 16.1.16
Walid Mezian: The Founding of Political Science: Averroës’ Political Philosophy

Esben Korsgaard Rasmussen: Aquinas. The Rediscovery of a Political Science

Jonathan Harmat: Spinoza. Between Medieval Elitism and Modern Democracy

Organiser: History of Philosophy Research Group / Division of Philosophy, University of Copenhagen

The event is open to all students and researchers. If you wish to attend, please register in advance by Leo Catana (catana[at]

Workshop in Early Modern Political Philosophy

Monday, February 13, 2017

The workshop takes place at the Faculty room (tiedekuntasali) of the Faculty of Theology, University of Helsinki, address Vuorikatu 3 (courtyard), floor 5B.



11.00–11.45 (chair: Aino Lahdenranta)
Risto Saarinen: Opening words and Reason and Religious Recognition (OUP)

Mikko Tolonen: Text and Data Mining for Eighteenth-Century History of Ideas

Lunch break

13.30–14.15 (chair: Virpi Mäkinen)
Martina Reuter: Poulain de la Barre on the Subjugation of Women

Kari Saastamoinen: Natural Equality and Natural Law in Locke’s Two Treatises

Coffee break

15.20-16.20 (chair: Heikki Haara)
Kinch Hoekstra: Thucydides in the Reformation

Commentator: Pekka Kärkkäinen


Plato’s Use of Logos: A Workshop on Reason, Language and Knowledge

University of Uppsala, Dec 8, 2016

Location: English Park Campus, room Eng2-1022


1000-1130 Marina McCoy: Images and the Language of the Forms in Plato’s Republic

1130-1230 Lunch

1245-1415 Franco Trivigno: Ideal and Ordinary Language in Plato’s Cratylus

1430-1600 M.M. McCabe: Plato’s Lexicon of Logos


For more information, please follow this link





Saturday, November 26, 2016

University of Helsinki, Main Building: Aud. IV



9-9:15 Opening words: José Filipe Silva (Helsinki)


Chair: Juhana Toivanen (Jyväskylä)

Paper 1: Andrea Vella (Catania), You are what you see. Sensibilia as a key to John of Jandun’s philosophy


Chair: Annemieke Verboon (Helsinki)

Paper 2: Christian Kny (Würzburg/Düsseldorf), Indeterminate Facticity, Activity, Reciprocity:  Tracing Sense Perception in the Works of Nicholas of Cusa

11:15-11:30 Coffee Break


Chair: Miko Yrjönsuuri (Jyväskylä)

Paper 3: Yamina Adouhane (Paris), Does Averroes’s criticism of Avicenna’s concept of “possible existent” (mumkin al-wujūd) miss its target?

12:30-13:30 Lunch


Chair: Paolo Rubini (Helsinki)

Paper 4: Wahid Amin (Al-Mahdi Institute, Birmingham), Naṣīr al-Dīn al-Ṭūsī on Necessary (Eternal) Truths and Necessary (Eternal) Being


Chair: José Filipe Silva (Helsinki)

Paper 5: Anna-Katharina Strohschneider (Würzburg), Agostino Nifo, Averroes, and the relationship between physics and metaphysics


General Q&A session

Concluding Remarks: Jari Kaukua (Jyväskylä)


Click here for more information



Hume afternoon at Jyväskylä

Wednesday Oct 26th, 2016


Chair: Martina Reuter
11:15 Anik Waldow: Hume on the Refinement of Moral Capacities; Commentator: Jani Hakkarainen


13:30 Aino Lahdenranta: Malebranche’s Theory of Self-Approving Passions in Scottish Sentimentalism; Commentator: Mikko Yrjönsuuri


15:15 Lilli Alanen: Sympathy and Nature in Hume ‘s Anatomy of the Moral Mind; Commentator: Matias Slavov

17:00 Conclusion


One-Day Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy

14th September 2016, University of Helsinki, Metsätalo Sali 10


14.00–14.50             Anik Waldow (Univ. of Sydney): “Prejudices and Remedial Cartesian Scepticism”

15.00–15.50             Vili Lähteenmäki (Univ. of Helsinki): “Substance, Attribute, Mode: Descartes on Thought as the Essence of Mind”

16.10–17.00             Jani Hakkarainen (Univ. of Tampere): “Causes and Effects Are Distinct – Why, Hume?”

 17.10–18.00             Mirem Boehm (Univ. of Wisconsin-Milwaukee): “Hume on Causation: Meaning and Metaphysics”

All Welcome!

Contact: vili.lahteenmaki/–\

Perception, Reason, and Desire in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

29.9.-1.10.2016, Uppsala, English Park Campus


1 Nordic Network for the History of Philosophy Workshop

Thursday, 29.9.2016

10:15–10:30 | Eng2-K1023 | Welcome (Tomas Ekenberg and Pauliina Remes, Uppsala)

10:30–11:30 | Eng2-K1023 | “Aristotle’s Enkratic Person Fails Exclusively Emotionally” (Gösta Grönroos, Stockholm)

11:30–12:30 | Eng2-K1023 | “Aristotle on Memory” (Mika Perälä, Helsinki)

14:00–15:00 | Eng2-K1023 | “Evaluation and Appetite in Early Medieval Ethics”
(Tomas Ekenberg, Uppsala)

15:00–16:00 | Eng2-K1023 | “Medieval Augustinian Desire” (José Filipe Pereira da Silva, Helsinki)

16:15–17:15 | Eng2-K1023 | “Morality and Happiness in the 13th Century”
(Mikko Yrjönsuuri, Jyväskylä)
17:15–18:00 | Eng2-K1023 | “The Role of Passions in Cartesian Psychology” (Ruidan She, Paris)


2 Uppsala Graduate Conference in History of Philosophy

Friday, 30.9.2016

10:00 -11:00 | Eng 2-K1028 | “Aristotle on the Perception of Pleasure and Pain in De Anima III.7” Harry Alanen (Oxford) | Commentator: Charlotta Weigelt (Södertörn)

11:00 – 12:00 | Eng2-K1028 | “Aristotle on Phantasia and Desire in Animal Locomotion”
Cecilia Li (Western Ontario) | Commentator: Gösta Grönroos (Stockholm)

13:00 -14:30 | Eng2-K1024 | ANCIENT KEYNOTE
“Craft and Desire in Plato and Aristotle” | Thomas Kjeller Johansen (Oslo)

14:45 – 15:45 | Eng2-K1024 | “Perceptual Judgments in Plato’s Republic”
Saldaña Eduardo (Geneva) | Commentator: Pauliina Remes (Uppsala)

15:45 -16:45 | Eng2-K1024 | “Epicurus’ Theory of Perception and the Problem of Conflicting Appearances” | Cristóbal Zarzar (Cambridge) | Commentator: Erik Eliasson (Helsinki)

17:00 – 18:00 | Eng2-K1024 | “Is John Buridan an Epistemic Fallibilist?”
Philip Choi (Boulder) | Commentator: Erik Åkerlund (Newman)


Saturday 1.10.2016

9:30-10:30 | Eng2-1077 | “Memory in Michael of Ephesus”
Daphne Argyri (Athens) | Commentator: Mika Perälä (Helsinki)

10:45 -12:15 | Eng2-1077 | MEDIEVAL KEYNOTE
“Thomas Aquinas on the Subject of Thought and the Status of the Human Soul”
Cecilia Trifogli (Oxford)

13:15-14:15 | Eng2-1077 | “Thomas Aquinas on Self-knowledge of Habitus”
Enrico Donato (Pisa) | Commentator: Tomas Ekenberg (Uppsala)

For information, please contact:

Mind, Nature, and Morality: A Conference in Honour of Lilli Alanen

September 2-4 2016
Venue: Helsinki Collegium of Advanced Studies, Seminar room.
Friday September 2
14.00 Opening words
14.15-15.30 Deborah Brown (Queensland): ”Interpreting the Person: Alanen on Descartes on Mind-Body Unity”
Chair: Pauliina Remes
15.45-17.00 Karolina Hübner (Toronto): “The thinking subject”
Chair: Leila Haaparanta
17.15-18.30 Lars Hertzberg (Åbo Akademi): “Reasons to be good?”
Chair: Harry Alanen
Reception (all attendants are cordially invited)
Saturday September 3
 09.00-10.15 John Carriero (UCLA): “Spinoza’s Theory of the Affects: Foundations”
Chair: Peter Myrdal
10.30-11.45 Lisa Shapiro (Simon Fraser): “Spinoza on Desire and Self- Consciousness”
Chair: Miira Tuominen
13.15-14.30 Denis Kambouchner (Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne): “Descartes and Spinoza on human love”
Chair: Virpi Mäkinen
14.45-15.45 Frans Svensson (Stockholm/Umeå): “Enjoying Freedom: Descartes on Virtue and Happiness”
Chair: Martin Gustafsson
16.15-17.30 Tomas Ekenberg (Uppsala): “The Problem of Evil, of Error, and of Mere Ignorance: An Augustinian Puzzle”
Commentator: Calvin Normore (UCLA)
Chair: Mikko Yrjönsuuri
Sunday September 4
10.00-11.15 Simo Knuuttila (Helsinki): “Christian Thomasius on passions”
Chair: José Filipe Pereira da Silva
11.30-12.30 Martina Reuter (Jyväskylä): “Poullain de la Barre’s Cartesian Feminism”
Chair: Mika Perälä
Attendance is free and everyone is welcome!
The conference is organized by some of Lilli Alanen’s students and colleagues, and is funded by the Societas Scientarium Fennica, the Oskar Öflunds stiftelse, and the Ella & Georg Ehrnrooth Foundation, and with support from the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies.

9th Nordic Workshop in Early Modern Philosophy

26-27 May 2016
University of Tampere, Finland


Dr Jani Hakkarainen (
University Lecturer

MA Jan Forsman (

On the Conceptual History of the Good (CHG)

Self-interest and Other-regard

November 27-28, 2015

University of Iceland, Reykjavik

Click here for more information.

Finnish Workshop on Medieval Philosophy

University of Jyväskylä, 20 November 2015

Main campus, lecture hall D 209.

Click here for more information.


Medieval Perspectives on Moral Motivation / Tomas Ekenberg (Uppsala)

Jyväskylä September 16-18 2015

For further information, please contact Mikko Yrjönsuuri

Course syllabus

1. Desire and Self-Knowledge

We start by looking at Augustine’s discussion in the Confessions of the results of the moral and psychological self-transformation that he describes in the earlier books of the Confessions (the peak moment being the famous garden scene of book eight). What is the significance of the radical transformation in terms of moral motivation? What does it mean for Augustine to be moved by the Good or the Right? What is required in order to be moved by morality? And what keeps us from being so? What can be said about Augustine’s metaethical views?

2. Teleology and the Will

By Anselm’s time, learned discussion gradually disengages itself from pure biblical exegesis and philosophizing turns into something of a spiritual exercise in its own right. In On the Fall of Satan, Anselm’s worry is the idea of fallen created nature, of creatures that sin. Within a broadly “creationist” picture, where everything is the work of the Supreme Artisan, how can we make sense of such defect and deformity? If rational nature sinned, then how could this come about? And from the other end of the telescope, what is it that rational natures are required to do or how is it they are supposed to be? To what extent is being righteous or acting morally natural or prompted by rational nature itself? We read On the Fall of Satan with an eye to understanding the connection between natural teleology, practical rationality and moral goodness in Anselm.

3. Self-Interest and Morality

According to the vast majority of the ancient philosophers, the good life is the happy life. But is moral uprightness consistent with being motivated by one’s own happiness? Or is it perhaps even inconsistent with being motivated by one’s own happiness? And is there a distinct special kind of moral motivation? Historians have pointed to Anselm and Scotus as being initiators of a movement that eventually departs from eudaimonism and insists on a clear opposition between being moved by self-interest and being moved by morality. We will here look at some of the textual evidence offered and focus on some interesting hermeneutical issues before turning to the historical-doctrinal points themselves. Two focal points are different views as to the nature and role of happiness as motivating factor and the disctinction between teleological and deontological ethics as applied to medieval conceptions of morality.


The Mechanisms of Sense Perception in Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition

Göteborg June 12-14th, 2015

Venue: Lilla konferenssalen, Rehnströmsgatan 6, Göteborg

For more information, click here. If you are interested in attending please contact Ana María Mora Márquez.

Women in the History of Philosophy: Methodological Reflections on Women’s Contributions and Influence

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, June 15-16, 2015

Fabianinkatu 24, Room 136

Research demonstrates that many more women than commonly acknowledged have participated in the development of philosophical thought throughout the ages. This conference contributes to an ongoing reconstruction of the canon of philosophy by addressing methodological questions. The aim is to study women thinkers as inventors and developers of ideas and as initiators of new modes of asking philosophical questions. The conference will also ask how the disappearance of female contributions has affected philosophy, and how its reemergence may influence today’s field of academic philosophy, where women are underrepresented.

More information.

Organization committee: Professor Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir (chair) (Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS), University of Iceland), Professor Research Leader Sara Heinämaa (University of Jyväskylä, University of Helsinki), and University Lecturer Martina Reuter (University of Jyväskylä) and Dr. Virpi Lehtinen.

“The Good, the One, and the Many”

1st Conference of the Nordic Network for the History of Philosophy,

University of Jyväskylä, 5-7 June 2015

The conference pertains to the relationship between the common good and the private good; to metaphysical unity and plurality; and to the metaphysical underpinnings that affect the discussions concerning the good of an individual and the good of social, political, or religious communities.

The program may be downloaded here.

Organizers: Nordic Network for the History of Philosophy; On the Conceptual History of the Good (NOS-HS); Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy (University of Jyväskylä); and Centre of Excellence in Reason and Religious Recognition (Academy of Finland).

Organizing Committee: Juhana Toivanen, Miira Tuominen, Mikko Yrjönsuuri, Simo Oinas.

Early modern philosophy of self

Prof. Lisa Shapiro

University of Jyväskylä, 1-3 June, 2015.

The course focuses on early modern philosophical conceptions of the self, including the transition from medieval to early modern patterns of thought. Central questions are the reflexive character of human selfhood, embodiment and the moral dimensions of personal identity. Participants will be expected to read selected texts in English from Peter John Olivi, Michel de Montaigne, René Descartes and John Locke. For the course credits, students will be required to write an essay. Credit can be given either for master’s or for doctoral studies.

Mon 1.6. 10-12; 14-16
Tue 2.6. 10-12; 14-16
Wed 3.6. 10-12; 14-16

For more information, please contact mikko.m.yrjonsuuri [at]