First Dublin Graduate Conference in Ancient Philosophy (UCD/TCD)

March 31, 2017 - April 1, 2017
Trinity College Dublin, University College Dublin



  • School of Philosophy, University College Dublin
  • Department of Philosophy, Trinity College Dublin
  • Trinity Plato Centre
  • Dublin Philosophy Research Network


Ursula Coope
Corpus Christi, Oxford
Diana Quarantotto
Sapienza University of Rome

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We invite papers to be delivered at the First Dublin Graduate Conference in Ancient Philosophy from both graduate students and early stage researchers (3 years after completion of PhD) on the topic:

Physis and Psychê in Ancient Philosophy: Causes, Generation, and Change”.

Due to the thematic nature of the conference, we welcome contributions on any suitable topic in Ancient Philosophy, from the Presocratics to Late-Antiquity. The Graduate Conference will be held in Dublin (precise venue TBA) from 31st March to 1st April 2017.  

Thematic Description: In the ancient world natural philosophy notoriously encompasses a broad spectrum as its subject-matter, that is, Physis. It ranges over topics such as physical motion, elemental composition, human psychology, and meteorology, among others. Natural things are defined, or at least spoken of, as things that undergo generation and corruption, as well as other changes, whether it be local, qualitative, or quantitative change. Ancient natural science also includes questions that some of us would be reluctant to classify under that heading such as animal locomotion or the problem of free-will. In the light of all this, a question that arises is how to go about defining such a broad domain.

From at least the fifth century BC onwards, psychology, or the study of the soul and its functions, becomes a branch of natural philosophy. ‘Psychê’ comes standardly to indicate what sets living beings apart from other things undergoing change. It stands in for the organising centre of vital functions such as nutrition and digestion as well as of perception, emotions, desire, and cognition. From the mature Plato onwards, in particular, the idea that the soul is mainly conceived of as a principle of self-motion becomes prominent.

Possible paper topics may include, but are not restricted to:

• Conceptions and Definitions of Physis in Ancient Philosophy;

• Motion and Change and conceptions thereof;

• The Soul as Self-Mover and/or Moving Principle;

• Immortality of the Soul;

• Questions of Free-will and Responsibility connected with Soul and Nature;

• Doctrines of Causality in Antiquity.

Paper Details: 7-8 submissions will be selected for presentation. Papers should be in English and approximately 30 minutes long. All talks will then be followed by a 15 minute comment by an invited respondent.

Submission Guidelines: Please submit abstracts prepared for blind review as email attachments to [email protected] Abstracts should be submitted in PDF or Word document format and should not exceed 500 words. Please write ‘Conference Abstract Submission’ in the subject line of your email and include in the body of your email your name, departmental affiliation, email address, and the title of your paper (as well as the year in which the PhD was awarded in the case of early career researchers).

Deadline: The submission deadline is Friday 13th January 2017, 8pm (GMT). Successful applicants will be notified by Friday 27th January and will be asked to submit the final draft of their papers by Friday 17th March.

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March 30, 2017, 5:00am IST

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