Early Modern Interest Group

Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week—see calendar below), 1:30–3:00 p.m.
Meeting place: Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science library, 737 Heller Hall.

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-RothBennett McNulty or Victor Boantza.

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-RothBennett McNulty or Victor Boantza so an invitation can be extended.

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Spring 2019

January 25: "Morbus" (1666) - transcription found on p. 390-393 of “Morbus : Locke’s early essay on disease” / Jonathan Walmsley. // IN: Early science and medicine. – 5 (2000):366-393. (pdf)

February 1: Snobelen, Stephen D. 2015. The Unknown Newton: Cosmos and Apocalyse. The New Atlantis Winter 76–94. (pdf)

February 22: Suchon, Gabrielle (2010) A Woman Who Defends All the Persons of Her Sex. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press) From Book I, Definition of Celibacy, Its Differences, Properties, and Titles  pp. 242–67.  Visitor: Julie Walsh, Wellesley College. (pdf)

March 8: "Respirationis Usus" text and translation found on p. 12–28 of “John Locke’s ‘Respirationis usus’ : text and translation” / J. C. Walmsley and E. Meyer. // IN: Eighteenth-century thought. – 4 (2008):1-28. (pdf)

March 29: "Anatomia" found here (https://medium.com/@craig_walmsley/john-lockes-anatomia-and-de-arte-medica-new-transcriptions-fe368fb5c5b0), in advance of its presentation in Writings on Medicine and Natural Philosophy for the Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke.

April 12: Visitor: Margaret Atherton, emeritus University of Wisconsin Milwaukee - readings TBA

May 3: "De Arte Medica" found here (https://medium.com/@craig_walmsley/john-lockes-anatomia-and-de-arte-medica-new-transcriptions-fe368fb5c5b0) in advance of its presentation in Writings on Medicine and Natural Philosophy for the Clarendon Edition of the Works of John Locke AND "Notes on Midwifery" found in “Locke’s midwifery notes” / Kenneth Dewhurst. // IN: Lancet – 264 (1954):490-491. (pdf)

Fall 2018

September 14:  Ch. 1, "Bernard Mandeville's The Fable of the Bees" (35–51) and Volume Editor's Introduction (1–24, optional). 

September 28: Ch. 2, "Dissertation on the Nature and Propagation of Fire" (53–103).

October 19: Foundations of PhysicsChs. 5 and 12; Kant, Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Proof of the Phoronomic Proposition  Katherine Dunlop (UT Austin) will be visiting

October 26:   Margaret Cavendish, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy (Section 2, 3, 6, 18, 20, 33, 34, 35 [pp. 174-176 only]), as well as Excerpts.
Benjamin Goldberg (U South Florida) will be visiting

November 16: meeting canceled

December 7: Ch. 3, "Foundations of Physics" (105–200).

Previous EMIG topics