Early Modern Interest Group

Meeting time: Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week - see the calendar below), 1:30–3:00 pm Central time
    Meeting place: Hybrid format. 737 Heller Hall and 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 Bennett McNulty (mcnu0074@umn.edu) or 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 Bennett McNulty (mcnu0074@umn.edu) or Jessica Gordon-Roth (gordo216@umn.edu) so an invitation can be extended.

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Spring 2024

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

This semester EMIG will be reading Spinoza’s Principles of Cartesian Philosophy 1998. Baruch Spinoza, Translated by Samuel Shirley. Cambridge, MA: Hackett Publishing.

January 19: No meeting

February 2: Spinoza’s Principles of Cartesian Philosophy pp. 7–31 (Part 1, through proposition 7)

February 16: Spinoza’s Principles of Cartesian Philosophy pp. 31–44 (Part 1, proposition 8 through end of part 1)

March 1: No Meeting

March 8: No Meeting - Spring Break

March 29: Online meeting only. Spinoza’s Principles of Cartesian Philosophy pp. 45–69 (Part 2, through proposition 18)

April 5: Spinoza’s Principles of Cartesian Philosophy 69–86 (Part 2, proposition 18 through end of part 2)

April 19: Spinoza’s Principles of Cartesian Philosophy pp. 86–91 (Part 3) and Appendix Containing Metaphysical Thoughts, pp. 94–109 (Part 1).

Fall 2023

EMIG will be taking a break for the fall semester

Previous EMIG topics