Conference: Life and death in early modern philosophy

14th – 16th April, 2016.

The deadline for abstract submission is 20th October 2015.

Birkbeck College London and Kings College London

Conference of the European Society for Early Modern Philosophy and the British Society for the History of Philosophy.

During the early modern period, upheavals in science, theology and politics prompted philosophers to grapple with two highly-charged questions.  What are the limits of life? What are the possibilities of life?  Pursuing the first, they probed the relation between life and death. What is it to be a living thing?  What distinguishes life from death?  In what sense, if any, do living things survive death?  Exploring the second question, they turned their attention to the character of a truly human life.  What is it for human beings (or particular kinds of human beings) to live well? What role does philosophy play in this process?  Is living well an individual project, a political one, or both?

Each of these themes has recently attracted renewed interest among historians of early modern philosophy, and the conference aims to explore them as broadly as possible.  The program will be comprised of invited speakers and speakers drawn from an open call for papers.

Confirmed Plenary Speakers:

Michael Moriarty, University of Cambridge, UK

Ursula Renz, Alpen-Adria-University Klagenfurt, Austria

Lisa Shapiro, Simon Fraser University, Canada.

Mariafranca Spallanzani, University of Bologna, Italy

Charles Wolfe, University of Gent, Belgium

Call for Papers: Submissions are invited from researchers of all levels, including Ph.D. students, and on any aspect of the conference theme. To submit, please email an abstract – maximum 800 words and  anonymised for blind review – to Susan James (s.james[at]  The heading of the email should be ‘ESEMP/BSHP abstract’ and the email should contain the author’s details (name, position, affiliation, contact details).  The deadline for abstract submission is 20th October 2015.

Those who plan to attend the conference should register by emailing Susan James (s.james[at] by 7th March 2016.

Further details about registration and funding will be posted in October.


One Response to Conference: Life and death in early modern philosophy

  1. […] Birkbeck & Kings Colleges London: CfP: Conference: Life and death in early modern philosophy 14–16 April 2016 […]

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