Early Modern Interest Group

Meeting time: Friday afternoons (about every other week—see calendar below), 1:30–3:00 p.m. Meetings are cancelled for the remainder of the semester.
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-Roth.

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 so an invitation can be extended.

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Spring 2020

This semester EMIG will be reading The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes Edited and Translated by Lisa Shapiro. 2007. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN: 9780226204420

February 7:  The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes Edited and Translated by Lisa Shapiro. 2007. Chicago: University of Chicago Press Notes on the Text and Translation and pp 61-85. (pdf)

February 21: The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes Edited and Translated by Lisa Shapiro. 2007. Chicago: University of Chicago Press p 85-109.

March 20: Meeting Cancelled
Emilie Du Châtelet's Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings Edited and with an Introduction by Judith P. Zinsser and Translated by Isabelle Bour and Judith P. Zinsser (English translation 2009, Chicago: University of Chicago Press)  Chapter 6, Discourse on Happiness. 22 pp. (pdf)

April 3: Meeting Cancelled The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes Edited and Translated by Lisa Shapiro. 2007. Chicago: University of Chicago Press pp109-134.

April 17: Meeting Cancelled The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes Edited and Translated by Lisa Shapiro. 2007. Chicago: University of Chicago Press pp134-158.

April 24: Meeting Cancelled The Correspondence between Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and René Descartes Edited and Translated by Lisa Shapiro. 2007. Chicago: University of Chicago Press pp158-182.

May 7: Meeting Cancelled
EMIG will be extending the discussion of the correspondence between René Descartes and Elizabeth of Bohemia to discuss Hal Cook’s article connecting this correspondence to the publication history of Descartes’s Traité de l’homme at this extra meeting. A light lunch will be provided.
Cook, Harold J. manuscript. A Dangerous Book: Descartes’s Suppression of the Traité de l'Homme (pdf).

 

Fall 2019

EMIG will be reading George Berkeley's Alciphron, or the Minute Philosopher  this semester. An electronic version of the 1901 Oxford edition of Berkeley’s collected works can be found here, and a pdf of the Alciphron is available here (password protected).

September 6: Editor’s preface and Berkeley’s brief “Advertisement to his Reader.” pp. 1-30.

September 27: 1st and 2nd Dialogues pp. 31-119, or 88 pp.

October 4: 3rd Dialogue pp. 121-152, or 32 pp.

October 25: 4th Dialogue pp. 153-192.

November 8:  5th Dialogue pp. 193-241.

November 22: 7th Dialogue pp.317-368. Gordon-Roth, J. 2019. Tracing Reid’s ‘Brave Officer’ Objection Back to Berkeley—And Beyond. Berkeley Studies 28. 

Previous EMIG topics