Early Modern Interest Group

Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week—see the calendar below), 1:30–3:00 pm Central time
Meeting place: online via Zoom

The early modern interest group (EMIG) reads and discusses primary and secondary literature focused on natural philosophy from the early modern period, especially in the work of key philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz, and Kant. Our basis for selecting readings is to study works that are routinely ignored in the philosophy curriculum. Natural philosophical discoveries and debates are often pertinent to understanding why these philosophers adopted particular positions or rejected others, and our goal is to become familiar with a wide range of these neglected works. For more information, please contact Jessica Gordon-Roth (gordo216@umn.edu).

Our meetings are informal, and some participants need to arrive late or leave early because of scheduling conflicts. All faculty and graduate students from the University of Minnesota and area colleges and universities are welcome to attend whenever they would like (without invitation), and without giving advanced notice. Undergraduates can be included by invitation. If you know of an undergraduate who is well suited and possibly interested, please contact Jessica Gordon-Roth (gordo216@umn.edu) so an invitation can be extended.

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Fall 2021

This semester, EMIG will be reading selections from Catharine Trotter Cockburn's writings.

Please join our mailing list for the zoom invitation or email mcps@umn.edu

  • September 24: Samuel Clarke's A Demonstration of the Being and Attributes of God (1705) (Vailati edition), pg. 3-8; 46-79. (pdf)
  • October 8: Catharine Trotter Cockburn's Remarks upon some Writers in the Controversy concerning the Foundation of Moral Virtue and Moral Obligation; particularly the Translator of Archbishop King’s Origin of Evil, and the author of the Divine Legation of Moses (1743), as found in the Birch edition (vol I), pg. 380-416. (pdf of October 8 and 22 readings. This is a large file.)
  • October 22: Catharine Trotter Cockburn's Remarks upon some Writers in the Controversy concerning the Foundation of Moral Virtue and Moral Obligation; particularly the Translator of Archbishop King’s Origin of Evil, and the author of the Divine Legation of Moses (1743), as found in the Birch edition (vol I), pg. 416-450.
  • November 5: meeting canceled
  • November 19: Catharine Trotter Cockburn's Remarks upon the Principles and Reasonings of Dr. Rutherforth’s Essay on the Nature and Obligations of Virtue: In vindication of the contrary principles and reasonings, enforced in the writings of the late Dr. Samuel Clarke (1747), as found in the Birch edition (vol II), p. 1-37. (pdf of all three readings for the rest of the semester. This is a large file.)
  • December 3: Catharine Trotter Cockburn's Remarks upon the Principles and Reasonings of Dr. Rutherforth’s Essay on the Nature and Obligations of Virtue: In vindication of the contrary principles and reasonings, enforced in the writings of the late Dr. Samuel Clarke (1747), as found in the Birch edition (vol II), p. 37-70.
  • December 17: Catharine Trotter Cockburn's Remarks upon the Principles and Reasonings of Dr. Rutherforth’s Essay on the Nature and Obligations of Virtue: In vindication of the contrary principles and reasonings, enforced in the writings of the late Dr. Samuel Clarke (1747), as found in the Birch edition (vol II) p. 70-107.

Previous EMIG topics