St Andrews Kant Reading Party 2023 - Kant and Maria von Herbert

July 31, 2023 - August 3, 2023
Department of Philosophy, University of St Andrews

The Burn
Edzell DD9 7YP
United Kingdom

This will be an accessible event, including organized related activities


  • Scots Philosophical Association
  • The St Andrews Centre for Ethics, Philosophy, and Public Affairs (CEPPA)


University of St. Andrews

Topic areas

Talks at this conference

Add a talk


It is our pleasure to invite you to the 14th St Andrews Kant Reading Party. The event will take place from 31 July to 3 August at The Burn in Angus, to be followed by a one-day “Kant in Progress” workshop at the University of St Andrews on 4 August 2023.

The Kant Reading Party is an annual academic retreat in the Scottish Highlands that brings together scholars of various stages in their career to discuss the works of Immanuel Kant and another prominent philosopher. In 2023, we will be focusing on the correspondence between Kant and Maria von Herbert.

The Theme

“If I had not already read so much of your work, I am certain I would already have put a violent end to my life.” This is how Maria von Herbert (1769–1803) describes Kant’s impact on her life in her first letter to him in 1791. She was a member of a circle of progressive men and women in an Austria that was dominated by reactionary forces at the time. In his reply, Kant adopts the role of a ‘moral physician’ and ‘mediator’ between von Herbert and a beloved friend who had turned away from her after learning about an earlier relationship of hers. In two later letters to Kant, she touches on questions of lying, friendship, the meaning of life and suicide.

The Kant and Maria von Herbert Reading Party at The Burn (31 July to 3 August 2023)

The Reading Party involves a combination of discussion sessions, which are based on pre-circulated readings, and papers given by scholars who have been working on the correspondence between Kant and Maria von Herbert for some time. Outside the paper and discussion sessions, participants will have the opportunity to attend to their own work and engage in leisure activities in The Burn’s many indoor and outdoor facilities. In addition, there will be one or more hiking parties in the surrounding area.

The Kant in Progress Workshop at the University of St Andrews (4 August 2023)

On the day following the Reading Party, there will be a one-day workshop at the University of  St Andrews, which gives Reading Party participants the opportunity to present their work in progress on Kant and/or Kantian philosophy.

Call for Abstracts for the “Kant in Progress” Workshop

The “Kant in Progress” Workshop is open to all participants of the Reading Party and aims to provide an additional opportunity for paper presentations. There should be four slots for participants to present their work. A call for abstracts will be circulated among the participants of the Reading Party in due course.

Participation Fees

The costs for students are £100 and for faculty members £250. The fee covers accommodation and full board at The Burn for three nights, as well as transportation from St Andrews to The Burn and back. If you would like to attend but childcare duties make it difficult, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Jens Timmermann about it, as we may be able to provide assistance.

Registration Process

We invite registration for participation from all interested parties. Since the number of places is limited, the registration process is divided into two steps:

(1) Informal registration: please register your intent to participate as early as possible by sending an email including your name and institutional affiliation, and a brief expression of interest (2-3 lines) to Jens Timmermann ([email protected]) by 18 June.

(2) Payment: selected participants will be given instructions on how to make the online fee payment. This counts as a formal registration. The event is fully accessible (e.g. wheelchair access).


The St Andrews Kant Reading Party 2023 is brought to you with financial support from the University of St Andrews; the Scots Philosophical Association and the St Andrews Centre for Ethics, Philosophy and Public Affairs.


For further inquiries about the Reading Party, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Jens Timmermann ([email protected]) Also check out our Kant Reading Party webpage:

Supporting material

Add supporting material (slides, programs, etc.)




June 18, 2023, 11:45pm BST

Who is attending?

1 person is attending:

Lehman College (CUNY)

See all

Will you attend this event?

Let us know so we can notify you of any change of plan.

RSVPing on PhilEvents is not sufficient to register for this event.