3rd Arctic Circle Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy— Thick Selves in Early Modern Metaphysics

August 12, 2019 - August 16, 2019
University of Helsinki

Käsivarrentie 14622
Kilpisjärvi 99490

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University of Helsinki

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3rd Arctic Circle Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy—

Thick Selves in Early Modern Metaphysics


12–16 August 2019

Kilpisjärvi, Finland


Confirmed speakers:


Donald Ainslie (Toronto)

Jacqueline Broad (Monash)

Deborah Brown (Queensland)

Jan Forsman (Tampere)

Jani Hakkarainen (Tampere)

Vili Lähteenmäki (Helsinki)

Calvin Normore (UCLA)

Ville Paukkonen (Helsinki)

Lisa Shapiro (Simon Fraser)

Valtteri Viljanen (Turku)


In the scholarship of early modern philosophy two aspects of selfhood, a simple enduring entity and a moral and political agent, are often discussed separately. We are seeking contributions that treat these levels as mutually implicating and discuss one or several early modern philosophers on how psychological, bodily, and societal aspects together are constitutive of selfhood. The emphasis is, however, metaphysical.

The presentations should address questions of the following type in relation to one or more early modern philosopher:

·       How exactly a core self, a mere subject of thought, can be seen as increasing into an embodied subject fit for emotions and sensations and ultimately for socially embedded moral agency? 

·       What are the aspects or phenomena, other than a core self, that enter into the constitution of a thick self and how they integrate in or build on the core self?

·       What makes a moral agent structured enough so as to qualify as a single continuing individual self and varied enough to accommodate moral and political agency?

We have two open slots. We invite prospective participants to send a (max) two-page abstract of an about 50-minute presentation to arcticcircleseminar3@gmail.com no later than April 30th. We appreciate abstracts that articulate clearly the main arguments and historical background of the proposed presentation.

We will be able to cover all travel costs within Finland (Helsinki-Kilpisjärvi-Helsinki) as well as accommodation with full board at the workshop venue, the Kilpisjärvi Biological Station of University of Helsinki https://www.helsinki.fi/en/research-stations/kilpisjarvi-biological-station/station.

The (very) remote location makes for unique surroundings for intensive academic discussion offering few modern day distractions. Outside the workshop program the participants will have the possibility of climbing on the top of the Saana fell, experiencing the northern wilderness, and taking a swim in the cold mountain lake from the sauna.

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