Events in the The History of Philosophy Program

Hume and Moral Psychology, Hume and Ancient and Early Modern Dialogues


43rd International Hume Society Conference

Tuesday July 19-Saturday 23 July 2016
Veterinary Science Conference Centre
University of Sydney

For more information please go to the Sydney Intellectual History Network

Connecting with Others: Empathy, Sympathy, and the Imagination Conference

From 30 March, 2016 to 1 April, 2016

Panels on:

"Le ciel c
  • Understanding Other Minds/Ethics
  • Sympathy in History
  • Aesthetics
  • Psychoanalysis and Anthropology

Leverhulme Trust, British Academy
School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry, University of Sydney
ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions
Click here for more information

CCANESA Boardroom (Rm 480),
Madsen Building F09,
The University of Sydney

Dr Anik Waldow

In pursuit of wisdom: Ancient Chinese and Greek perspectives on cultivation

15-18 January 2016

What does it take to live well? Ancient Chinese and Greek philosophy present accounts or models of life lived well: a Confucian junzi, a Daoist sage and a eudaimonic life. Philosophical discussions in these traditions bring to light pictures of the good life as well as its constitutive elements. These include, for example, the Stoic life of virtue, Aristotelian intellectual virtues, Confucian virtue ethics, and Daoist ideals of nonaction. Yet, living well is not simply about having the right kinds of pursuits or ends nor is it just about how particular activities are executed. The good life is primarily about agency, and a richer account is facilitated by understanding how it is cultivated.

At this conference, we aim to extend existing debates on the good life by investigating the processes associated with cultivating or nurturing the self in order to live such lives, ably and reliably. What is involved in developing practical wisdom, nurturing the exercise of reason, cultivating equanimity, fostering reliability, learning to respond fittingly, developing knack, and so on? This inquiry shifts the focus from definitions of a good life to the process of its cultivation. For example: instead of examining eudaimonia, we might consider the cultivation of metis or hexis; instead of discussing the junzi, we might study xin (reliability). Taking a first-person perspective on cultivation, the conference will explore how training equips a person to undertake particular actions or tasks well, and reliably so. Key questions include those concerned with practice, discipline, cultivation of habits and skills as well as the resources required for such pursuits. These deliberations will enrich our understanding of learning and action as well as our conceptions of agency.
Click here for more information


Emanuel Kant

with Professor Eckart Förster (Johns Hopkins/HU-Berlin) and Dr Dalia Nassar (Sydney)
June 9-11, 2015
The University of Sydney,
Theme: Kant’s Philosophy of Nature

The Masterclass is organized for a small group of advanced graduate students working on dissertations in German idealism, with special emphasis on the philosophy of nature.

In remarks in the Encyclopedia Hegel credits Kant’s “construction” of matter and his notion of “inner purposiveness” with revitalizing the idea of a Naturphilosophie. “With this concept of inner purposiveness,” Hegel writes, “Kant has resuscitated the idea in general and especially the idea of life” (#55A). In turn, Kant’s “construction” of matter in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science has the “merit of having made a beginning toward a concept of matter and of having revived with this attempt the concept of a Naturphilosophie” (#262A).

Click here for more information

Earlier Events

Workshop: “Early Modern Persons and Consciousness II"

30th March 2015, 9 am - 4 pm
Research Training Opportunity for Honours and Postgraduates Students
Organiser: Anik Waldow

  • Deborah Brown (Queensland)
  • Sandra Field (Yale NUS College)
  • Balin Kekedi (Aberdeen/Sydney)
  • Michael Olson (Macquary)
  • Anik Waldow (Sydney)

Research Training

Human Nature and the Construction of the State - Hobbes and Spinoza
26th August 2014
The History of Philosophy Programme will welcome Beth Lord from the University of Aberdeen as its next visitor in August 2014. She will teach the postgraduate seminar “Spinoza and contemporary continental political philosophy”. This course puts into practice a new research-focused teaching format: students have the opportunity to closely engage with the research of international experts who present their work at a one-day workshop at Sydney University. The course will prepare them for this event and also give them the chance to write and present comments in relation to our speakers' papers. The seminar will be taught as a compact seminar in 5 x 3 h sessions in the week from 18 to 22 of August; the workshop will be on 26th of August.

Human Nature and the Construction of the State - Hobbes and Spinoza

Daniel Garber (Princeton)
Moira Gatens (Sydney)
Beth Lord (Aberdeen)
Michael LeBuffe (Otago)
Duncan Ivison (Sydney)

This event has been made possible with the support of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science and the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry of the University of Sydney.


Daniel Garber (Princeton) in Sydney

25th August 2015
The Sydney Ideas Series featured one of the world's leading experts in early modern philosophy. His talk will examine "Why the Scientific revolution wasn't a Scientific revolution".
Podcast available here

This event has was made possible with the support of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.

Principles in Early Modern Thought Colloquium

27-29 August, 2014

Principles in Early Modern Thought Colloquium

This colloquium formed part of Professor Peter Anstey’s ARC Future Fellowship project on ‘The nature and status of principles in early modern philosophy’. It is sponsored by the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry and the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science.

SHAPE Seminiar series

Fridays 10:30-12:00
Researchers and postgraduates in the history of philosophy regularly present their work in the SHAPE (philosophy of value, broadly conceived, on a topic social, historical, aesthetic, political or environmental) seminar series.
If you want to present a paper, please contact David Macarthur,



Nature, Culture and Mind in German Romanticism and Idealism

12-14 March 2014
Co-hosted by the University of Sydney and UNSW-Australia, sponsored by the Sydney Intellectual History Network. Confirmed speakers include:

  • Manfred Frank,
  • Richard Eldridge,
  • Kate Rigby,
  • Paul Redding,
  • Stephen Gaukroger,
  • Simon Lumsden,
  • Melissa Merrit,
  • Anik Waldow,
  • Heikki Ikäheimo and
  • Dalia Nassar.

The Question of the Image

23-24 July 2014
SCA (University of Sydney) and UWA. Conference organiser: David Macarthur.

Principles in Early Modern Thought

27-29 August 2014
An international colloquium on the nature and status of early modern principles sponsored by USyd and organized by Peter Anstey. Speakers include: Michael LeBuffe (Otago); Ian Maclean (Oxford); William R. Newman (Indiana); Sophie Roux (ENS, Paris); Kiyoshi Shimokawa (Gakushuin, Tokoyo); Alberto Vanzo (Warwick).

Plato's Poetics

21-27 Sept 2014
A conference jointly organised by Rick Benitez and Keping Wang, hosted in Beijing. Invited speakers include: Rick Benitez (USYD), Angus Bowie (Oxford), Zhongmei Chen (BYU), Catherine Collobert (Ottowa), Stephen Halliwell (St. Andrews),Marguerite Johnson (Newcastle), Kathryn Morgan (UCLA), Penelope Murray (em. Warwick), Gerard Naddaf (York), Tom Robinson (Toronto), Samuel Scolnicov (Jerusalem), Keping Wang (Beijing)


Conference of the International Society for Intellectual History, organiser: Stephen Gaukroger


Annual Conference of the International Hume Society, organizer Anik Waldow, Eric Schliesser (Ghent), Michael Gill (Arizona), keynote speakers: Alison Gopnik (Berkeley), Shaun Nichols (Arizona), Christine Swanton (Auckland), Stephen Buckle (ACU)


  • 4 April 2014
    Early Modern Persons and Consciousness. organisers Anik Waldow and Vili Lähteenmäki; speakers include: Stephen Gaukroger, Peter Anstey, David Macarthur.
  • Workshop
    Human Nature and the Construction of the State: Hobbes and Spinoza

26th August, 9 am- 5 pm, Muniment Room, Main Quad, University of Sydney
Organiser: Anik Waldow

Daniel Garber (Princeton)
Moira Gatens (Sydney)
Beth Lord (Aberdeen)
Michael LeBuffe (Otago)
Duncan Ivison (Sydney)

This event has been made possible with the support of the Sydney Centre for the Foundations of Science and the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry of the University of Sydney.



  • Summer
    “Plato’s Myths”, convener Rick Benitez, Tuesdays 10-1 Quadrangle N496

Visitors in 2014

  • Katherine Dunlop (University of Texas)
  • Richard Eldridge (Swarthmore College)
  • Yahei Kanayama (University of Nagoya, Japan)
  • Vili Leahteenmaeki (University of Helsinki)