Recent Conferences

On the second floor of Stuart Hall, you can visit our Poster Gallery, where framed posters of many of our recent conferences may be viewed in their full glory.

Below you will find brief descriptions of various recent conferences partially or wholly sponsored by our department. At the end of each description, you will find a link to the conference webpage, when available. There you will find more detailed information about the conference in question, and in some cases also links to papers or audio recordings of lectures given at the conference. In many cases, you will also find an image of the conference poster. If you click on the image, an enlargeable version of the poster will open in a separate window, allowing you further to enlarge the image to whatever size you like in order to make it easier to read.

Fourth Biennial PLATO conference

Dates: June 23-24, 2017

Location: University of Chicago

Theme: Social justice and pre-college philosophy: where do we go from here? Including racial and other social inequalities in education, as it applies to:

  1. pre-college philosophy in classroom instruction
  2. philosophy of education
  3. programs in public education

Featured Speaker: Dave Stovall on "Resisting the Racial Contract in 'School': Critical Race Theory, Community Resistance, and the Future of Education"

Conference Details
Conference sessions will take the form of hands-on workshops, papers, presentations and poster sessions. All proposals must be submitted by email attachment no later than November 1, 2016 - you can either use the form below (see Call for Proposals below) or email your 500 (presentation/poster session) or 1,000 (workshop) word abstract to info(at) The conference is funded in part by the Squire Family Foundation and the University of Chicago - specifically the Civic Knowledge Project/Winning Words Program, which is hosting the event.

See the conference website for more details:

The Philosophy of Howard Stein

A Conference at the University of Chicago, June 9th-11th 2017

It is scarcely an exaggeration to say that the publication of Howard Stein's paper "Newtonian Space Time" in 1967 inaugurated the modern study of the foundations of physics. Thereafter, Stein's work continued to set the standard in the philosophical community and beyond for the study of theories of spacetime structure (Newtonian and relativistic), the conceptual structure of quantum mechanics, the methodology of science in general and the character of scientific knowledge, and the history of physics and mathematics. This three-day conference will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stein's landmark paper by providing an opportunity to reflect on Stein's lasting influence for those working on a wide range of topics of vital interest to historians and philosophers of science. While speakers include Stein's former colleagues, past students and friends, our focus is on his continuing influence on contemporary work, and we aim to demonstrate the relevance of Stein's work for the next fifty years of our discipline.

For more information about the conference please click here.

Other Minds/Other Wills

Our conference will take place on the weekend of June 2-3 (Friday and Saturday, 9:00-6:00) in Rosenwald 405 on the University of Chicago campus. Read more information about the conference here. The confirmed participants so far are:

Kyla Ebels-Duggan (Northwestern)

Naomi Eilan (Warwick)

A. J. Julius (UCLA)

Doug Lavin (University College, London)

Henrike Moll (USC)

Dick Moran (Harvard)

Kieran Setiya (MIT)

Our idea for the conference grows out of our sense that there are interesting connections to be drawn between debates in the philosophy of mind about how we understand the minds of other persons and debates in moral philosophy about the special normative significance of our relations to other persons. Our aim is bring together philosophers and other researchers who have approached these topics from interesting angles, and to invite them to reflect on how their projects might engage with one another. We envision that participants might address questions such as (but certainly not limited to) the following:

  • How is our capacity to understand other subjects related to our capacity to stand in relations of "mutual recognition" with other subjects? Is the idea of another mind fundamentally the idea of a "second person", a "you" to my "I"?
  • What role does perception of bodies play in our awareness of other minds? Can we perceive the mental states of another person, or must we always make an inference from something exterior and visible to something interior and invisible?
  • Does understanding other minds require possession of a "theory of mind"? To what extent is our understanding of other minds appropriately conceived as a kind of theoretical understanding? What role, if any, does our understanding of our own minds plays in grounding our understanding of other minds?
  • What is the relation between understanding other minds and feeling concern for other persons? Is our capacity for shame, empathy, a sense of justice, etc. grounded on our understanding of other minds, or do such forms of concern for others themselves ground our understanding of what another mind could be?
  • How is the relation between two subjects of action different from the relation to between two subjects of belief? In particular, how is giving you my reason for doing something different from giving you my reason for believing something, and what, if anything, does this reveal about the difference between reasons for action and reasons for belief?
  • How must two agents be related to another other in order for them to be capable of wronging one another?

Subjectivity in Language and Thought

The Departments of Linguistics and Philosophy at the University of Chicago will host a two-day workshop, May 19-20, 2017, that aims to bring together recent innovations and novel perspectives on the phenomenon of subjectivity in language and thought. The workshop is funded by the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society and will be held at the Franke Institute for the Humanities on campus.

Expressions whose meaning have a distinctly subjective dimension, most notably predicates of personal taste, have received increased attention by linguists and philosophers in the last decade or so. In addition to the extensively debated phenomenon of "faultless disagreement," the fact that across languages certain attitude verbs such as English 'find' require their complement to be subjective in a distinct way raises unique conceptual and empirical challenges to a comprehensive theory of natural language meaning. Several researchers have explored issues about subjective expressions beyond their significance for the relativism-vs-contextualism debate that is so prominent in linguistics and philosophy of language, including: the types of subjective meanings that natural languages encode, the subjective dimensions of modality, and the evidential dimension of subjective predicates and attitude verbs. The aim of this workshop is to continue this trend by bringing together innovative perspectives on subjective language and thought in an interdisciplinary setting.

Invited speakers:

Elizabeth Coppock (Gothenburg)
Anastasia Giannakidou (University of Chicago)
Daniel Lassiter (Stanford)
Alda Mari (Instutut Jean Nicod, CNRS, ENS, EHESS)
Dilip Ninan (Tufts)

Thinking Across Borders: Engaging African and Western Political and Philosophical Thinking

April 27-28, 2017. This will be a two-day conference at Neubauer Collegium. Details TBA.

Graduate Student Conference in Ancient Philosophy

The 2nd annual Graduate Student Conference in Ancient Philosophy at the University of Chicago will take place on April 7th and 8th. This year's theme is 'Argument in Ancient Thought'. The conference will be held on in Classics room 110 on the University of Chicago campus. Carrie Swanson (University of Iowa) will be giving the keynote on Plato's Euthydemus. The conference is open and all are welcome to attend.

The schedule can be found on the University of Chicago Ancient Philosophy Workshop website ( All the papers will be posted on the Ancient Workshop website as well.

Skepticism as a Form of Philosophical Experience

The focus of this conference is to explore the idea that philosophical skepticism in its deepest and historically most influential forms is best understood not as a species of philosophical thesis, position, or theory, but rather as something that enables a particular form of philosophical experience, praxis, and self-transformation. This idea is as old as the history of philosophy, finding its original sources in ancient skepticism and reasserting itself in a variety of guises throughout the intervening centuries. However, the tendency is still to construe philosophical skepticism as a form of philosophical thesis, either to be affirmed or to be denied.

The conference will not only explore the history of non- and anti-theoretical varieties of skepticism, but also their variety of forms of inheritance in contemporary Continental and Anglophone philosophy. Against the standard position in contemporary epistemology, this will contribute to a practical and transformative understanding of skepticism.

Link to website:

Concepts of Aesthetic Form

When: January 13-15, 2017.

The conference Concepts of Aesthetic Form is devoted to the concept of form in humanistic inquiry. It is especially interested in the kind of formal generality at issue in humanistic disciplines, and the differences between such formality and, for example, the concept of scientific law. Our approach is exploratory, and we begin with no fixed commitments, but our initial orientation assumes that what distinguishes objects of study in the humanities - literature, art objects, music, etc. - is that they are the objects they are by virtue of the self-understanding embodied in these objects, and that humanistic inquiry attempts to articulate the self-understanding and purposiveness that is the basis of the distinct unity of the objects themselves.

We are interested both in basic transformations in the history of philosophical thought about these issues, from Plato and Aristotle to Kant and Hegel and many others, as well as in the embodiment of different alternatives of such formal unity in various art works and in critical thinking about these works.

This conference is a sequel to the conference Revolutions in the Concept of Form.

Link to Website:

Meaning, Metaphor, and Maimonides: Honoring Josef Stern

The link to the conference homepage is here.

The Department of Philosophy at the University of Chicago is organizing a conference in honor of Josef Stern, William H. Colvin Professor Emeritus in the Department of Philosophy and in the College, and Inaugural Director of the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies. The conference will be an occasion to honor Josef Stern's work and his contributions to the University, where he retired in the Spring quarter 2016 after having taught almost continuously since 1979. The conference will be held at the Franke Institute for the Humanities on December 4-5, 2016. Confirmed speakers: Paul Franks (Yale) Rachel Goodman (Nebraska-Lincoln) Aidan Gray (UIC) Nat Hansen (Reading) Robin Jeshion (USC) John Kulvicki (Dartmouth) Steven Nadler (Wisconsin-Madison) With a keynote presentation by Josef Stern to follow. RSVP via email to William Weaver ( by November 18 encouraged but not required. Please include dietary restrictions. The conference is sponsored by the Franke Institute for the Humanities, the University of Chicago Humanities Division, the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Linguistics, the Center for Jewish Studies, the Divinity School, and the Linguistics and Philosophy of Language Workshop.

The 2016 Philosophy Graduate Research Conference

Friday, December 2, and Saturday, December 3. Speakers and location here.

Justice at Work

Organized by: Ben Laurence and Dan Brudney through the Pozen Family Center for Human Rights and the Franke Institute
When: October 14th 1:15-5:45 and October 15th 9:15-5:15
Where: The John Hope Franklin Room of the Social Sciences Research Building
Conference Website:

This is a conference bringing together philosophers and political theorists working on questions of justice that arise in relation to labor and the workplace. Topics to be explored include but are not limited to the nature of exploitation, managerial domination, the right to strike, the right to leisure time, dignity at work, and wage equality. For a detailed schedule and a list of particpants please consult the conference website.

Chicago Consortium in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy: 8th Biennial conference: "Evil"

October 14, 2016, 8:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.

Contact: Elizabeth Asmis

Professor, Classics Department

1115 E. 58th St.

Chicago, IL 60637

Society for German Idealism and Romanticism

The inaugural conference of the newly founded Society for German Idealism and Romanticism, which will be held Saturday and Sunday, October 1-2, 2016, in Wieboldt 408 at the University of Chicago. Details can be found here: Keynote and invited speakers include: Johannes Haag, Jane Kneller, Karl Ameriks, Elizabeth Millán, Anne Pollok, Allen Speight, and Rachel Zuckert. Please note that there is a modest conference fee of $20 for grad students, $35 for faculty members.

Philosophy Alumni Research Conference
at the University of Chicago

Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21, 2016

contact: Zed Adams


"Revolutions in Concepts of Form"

Organized by James Conant, Robert Pippin and David Wellbery, through the Neubeuer Collegium.

October 29, 30 and 31, 2015

Thursday 10.29: 10-12, 2-4, 4:30-6:30 pm
Friday 10.30: 10-12, 2-4, 4:30-6:30 pm
Saturday 10.31: 10-12, 2-4, 4:30-6:30 pm

Contact: Garrett Allen



A Workshop in Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of
Martha Nussbaum’s Ph.D. Thesis (Harvard, May 1975)
15‒16 May 2015
Organized by David Charles (Yale) and Oliver Primavesi (Munich)
Supported by The Law School, Chicago University
To be held at the University of Chicago Law School, Classroom V

40 years ago Martha Nussbaum made a bold hypothesis about the Greek manuscript traditions of Aristotle's De Motu Animalium.  Her hypothesis has finally been confirmed in a surprising way: the "second version" of De Motu Animalium, some traces of which Nussbaum identified, has been found to be preserved in its entirety by two 15th c. manuscripts.  This demonstrably superior version requires us to make numerous textual changes of philosophical importance.  Join us for discussion of the philological and philosophical significance of this discovery by the people who made it and for celebration of the 40 years of work inspired by Martha Nussbaum's ground-breaking text, translation, and philosophical essays.



Friday 15 May 2015:
02.00 PM David Charles (Yale): Introductory Words
02.30 PM Oliver Primavesi (Munich): Transmission & Textual Criticism:
A New Stemma and a New Text of Mot. An.
04.30 PM Break
05.00 PM Martha Nussbaum (Chicago): Comments

Saturday 16 May 2015:
09.30 AM Christof Rapp (Munich): Chapter 1 and the Place
of Mot. An. in the Corpus
11.00 AM Break
11.30 AM David Charles (Yale): Aristotelian Actions
01.00 PM Break
02.30 PM Klaus Corcilius (Berkeley): Phantasia and Desire
04.00 PM Break
04.30 PM Martha Nussbaum (Chicago): Conclusions

The Ninth Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference
at the University of Chicago

Saturday, May 2, 2015
Keynote Speaker: Professor Agnes Callard (Chicago)

Harper 135

10:00AM-10:30AM: Breakfast Reception
10:30AM-11:50AM: Liza Batkin, Harvard: "Objectives vs. Objectification: Assessing the Contradictoriness of Self-Identifying Feminists"
12:00PM-1:20PM: Professor Agnes Callard, UChicago: "Everyone Desires the Good".
1:20PM-2:40PM: Lunch Reception
2:40PM-4:00PM: SuJung Lee, UToronto: "The Role of Friendship in Aristotle's Conception of Happiness in Nicomachean Ethics"
4:10PM-5:30PM: Louis Ramirez, McGill University: "Against Representationalism for Belief: An Argument for Phenomenal Dispositionalism"
5:30PM-6:30PM: Closing Reception



2nd Annual Chicagoland Philosophy Graduate Conference

University of Illinois-Chicago

25 – 26 Apr, 2015

Levinas Reading

April 8-9, 2015

Schedule and full website:

On philosopher Emmanuel Levinas as a reader: a reader of philosophical texts and religious texts but also a reader of literary texts. The impetus for this conference arises from the recent publication of the first three volumes of Emmanuel Levinas’ Oeuvres complètes.

Organized by Sarah Hammerschlag, Assistant Professor of Religion and Literature, and Raoul Moati, Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy.
Sponsored by the Divinity School, the Martin Marty Center, the Philosophy Department, the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, and the Chicago France Center.

Graduate Student Research Conference

December 5, 2014
9:00am - 4:30pm
Saieh Hall for Economics 17

David Holiday - "Alienable Dignity and Human Preciousness"
Nir Ben Moshe - "An Adam Smithian Account of Moral Reasons"
Tuomo Tiisala - "Power and Freedom in the Space of Reasons"
Matt Teichman - "Linguistic Returns"

Organizer: David Finkelstein


The Human and the Divine

the 10th biennial conference of the chicago area consortium in ancient greek and roman philosophy
fri nov 7 and sat nov 8, 2014
at the university of chicago & northwestern university
space is limited / (free) registration is required

a full program and further details will be made available on our website

how do greek and roman philosophers define the contours of our human nature in relationship to divine beings? we hope to explore both the formal and the substantive aspects of this topic. as to form, can we understand human beings only on their own terms, or are they something (imperfectly) divine, perhaps subject to standards only a higher kind of being will satisfy? the divine, in addition to being something the human approximates or tries to be like, purports also to be something human beings can interact with. thus arise substantive questions
such as: what is it to know or understand god(s)? can we in any sense pray to, hear from, give to, or be aided by the divine?

agnes callard (uchicago, philosophy)
john wynne (northwestern, classics)
dhananjay jagannathan, graduate student coordinator (uchicago, philosophy)
dhananjay jagannathan,


Workshop on Aristotle's Logic and Metaphysics

Friday, May 23, 2014
Franke Center

Saturday, May 24, 2014
Logan Art Center, Terrace Seminar Room 80

Conference Coordinator: Marko Malink

Please direct all inquiries to Joshua Mendelsohn:




May 3, 2014

The Undergraduate Philosophy Conference is an annual event dedicated to showcasing student work in philosophy. Undergraduates from around the country are invited to present their best papers and receive feedback.

Free and Open to the Public.

Cosponsored by the International House Global Voices Lecture Series and the University of Chicago Undergraduate Philosophy Club


Chicago Alumni Conference

Stuart 216

Friday, April 25, 2014


Full schedule/abstracts:

Conference coordinator: Zed Adams <>


Crime in Law and Literature Conference 

Friday February 7 and Saturday February 8, 2014

Law School
Organized by Professors Martha Nussbaum, Alison LaCroix, and Richard McAdams.


Walter Benjamin as Philosopher

February 14-16, 2014

The conference is dedicated to the publication of Eli Friedlander's book, Walter Benjamin: A Philosophical Portrait.
Faculty sponsors: Jim Conant, David Wellbery, Christoph Koenig (Osnabruck)
Student Coordinator: Gilad Nir


Kant / Sellars Conference

February 21-23, 2014
Faculty sponsor: Jim Conant
Student Coordinator: Gilad Nir


Pines’ Maimonides: The Translation, History, and Interpretation of The Guide of the Perplexed

January 19-21, 2014

Swift Hall

An international conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the publication by the University of Chicago Press of Shlomo Pines’ English translation of Maimonides’ philosophical magnum opus. 

Co-sponsored by the Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, Division of Humanities, Department of Philosophy, Martin Marty Center, Franke Humanities Institute, France Chicago Center, Committee on Social Thought, Leo Strauss Center, Norman Waite Harris Fund, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and the Shlomo Pines Society (Jerusalem).

Contact: Nancy Pardee, Center for Jewish Studies


Philosophy Graduate Research Conference

Conference Coordinator: Gabriel Lear
December 6-7, 2013
Classics 110


Image and Myth

Dec 4-5, 2014
(organized by Thomas Pavel)

Keynote lecture by Luca Giuliani (Rector of the Institute for Advanced Study in Berlin and Professor of classical archaeology at the Humboldt University of Berlin) : Images of Myth and Images of Genre: On the Use and Abuse of a Common Dichotomy.

  • David Wellbery, Image and Myth – from Lessing to Giuliani
  • Lorraine Daston, A Word Is Worth a Thousand Images
  • Richard Neer, Space, Time, and the Parthenon
  • Gabriel Richardson Lear, Philosophical Myth and Visual Metaphor
  • Thomas Pavel, The Craft of Mimesis
  • James Conant, Luca Giuliani on Image and Myth
    • 4:30PM- 5:30PM – Round Table, Candace Vogler and the participants


Leonard Linsky Memorial Conference: On Philosophy of Language and Early Analytic Philosophy

November 2-3, 2013

Franke Institute for the Humanities

Regenstein Library, Room S-102

Coordinator: Professor Emeritus William Tait,

Sponsored by Alexandra Bellow, the Franke Institute for the Humanities, Humanities Division, Department of Linguistics, and Department of Philosophy.


The Winning Words Initiative: Midwest Regional Resource Network for Precollegiate Philosophy

Saturday, November 2nd, from 9-4:30 pm (with a break for lunch)
Where: The University of Chicago’s Mandel Hall, in the Reynolds Club

Leading philosophers and educators from across the Midwest: talks, panel discussions, and demonstrations highlighting the importance of fostering philosophy at the K-12 level.
Cooridinator: Bart Schultz


The Seventh Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at the University of Chicago

Saturday, April 13th, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Harper 130

10:45 - 11:40: "Kind Predicates and Function Assignment", Colin Bradley (UChicago)
11:40 - 1:00: Keynote Address: "Staying Alive", Benjamin Callard (UChicago)
1:00 - 1:40: Lunch
1:40 - 2:35: "Quining Goodness", Ryan Orms-Brooks (Saint Louis University)
2:35 - 3:30: "Human Dignity and a Capabilities Approach to Disability", Jonathan Joseph (Michigan State University)

All questions should be directed to


A Philosophical Reunion

April 20-21, 2013
Rosenwald 405

Presentation of current works-in-progress to a receptive but critical audience of fellow alums. 

Conference Coordinator: Zed Adams,


Job Seekers Conference

Friday, December 7, 2012

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolutions

Friday, November 30 through Saturday, December 1, 2012

The University of Chicago Press, the Fishbein Center for the History of Science, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science have invited the following scholars to participate in a conference devoted to investigating the origins and impact of a book that completely altered the intellectual landscape for understanding the development of science. 

Full Program at


Animality in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

October 12-13, 2012

Northwestern and University of Chicago campuses
The speakers are:
* Rachana Kamtekar (Arizona)
* David O'Connor (Notre Dame)
* Eric Brown (Washington University in St. Louis)
* Hendrik Lorenz (Princeton)
* Tamar Gendler (Yale)
* Brooke Holmes (Princeton)
* Ursula Coope (Oxford)

The conference will focus on the following questions:
How are humans different from other animals? And how should our being animals matter to us? We are interested both in how our distinctive human features affect or transform the faculties we share with other animals, and in how our animality affects our cognition and our good. Is part of us a beast and if so must we fight it or tame it? Should we instead embrace it? Ancient philosophers' answers to these questions deeply influenced their accounts of perception, pleasure, emotion, desire, locomotion, cognition and the good life. Our conference will explore their answers, put them in their historical context and see
how they relate to today's philosophical concerns.

Conference Coordinator: Gabriel Lear


"The Installation of Good and Bad in the Psyche: A Conference on Ethics and Psychoanalysis"

May 25 - 26, 2012
Swift 3rd Floor Lecture Hall - 1025 E 58th St

Conference Coordinators: Candace Vogler and Jonathan Lear

Graduate Student Coordinator: Mark Hopwood





Semantics and Linguistic Theory 22

May 18-20, 2012

The invited speakers for the conference are:

Please visit the program page for information about the conference schedule or download a program booklet.  Please go to the registration page for information about conference fees.

Sponsors: Chicago Linguistics Society, Deparment of Linguistics, Department of Philosophy, Division of Humanities, Franke Institute for the Humanities, Office of the Provost

For inquiries about the conference, please contact us at


A Philosophical Reunion

April 21-22, 2012
Classics 21
Philosophical conversations that begin in graduate school need not end there.  As a way of keeping these conversations alive, we are inviting our recent PhD graduates back to campus for two days, during which they will present their current works-in-progress.
Conference organizer: Zed Adams


The Sixth Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference at the University of Chicago 

Saturday, April 14th, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Harper 130
Keynote Speaker: Professor Malte Willer
Sam Carter, "On Why You Ought to Believe You’re a Brain-in-a-Vat"
Steven Lauterwasser, “The Play of Vocabularies: A Re-Evaluation of Transcendent Vocabularies in Rorty”
Tyler Lutz, "Skirting the Singularity: Metalinguistic Regresses in the Tractatus"


TECHNĒ WORKSHOP: The Craft Analogy in Ancient Philosophy

Friday, March 30th, 2012 and Saturday morning, March 31

Conference Coordinator: Gabriel Lear

Sean Kelsey, University of Notre Dame - Truth and Technē
Verity Harte, Yale University - Technē in the Philebus
Ursula Coope, Oxford University - Aristotle on Habituation and the Acquisition of Technē
Rachel Barney, University of Toronto - “Moral Motivation, Practical Reason, and Technē


Stanley Cavell’s Aesthetics

March 2 - 4, 2012

Primary Participants: Sarah Beckwith (Duke), Michael Fried (Johns Hopkins), Arata Hamawaki (Auburn), Andrew Klevan (Oxford), Toril Moi (Duke University), Richard Moran (Harvard), Yi-Ping Ong (Johns Hopkins), Robert Pippin (Chicago). This conference is jointly sponsored by The Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, The Franke Institute for the Humanities, The Center for Interdisciplinary Research on German Literature and Culture, The Department of Philosophy. 
Conference Organizer: Gilad Nir



Aesthetics and German Philosophy Conference

Sponsored by The Chicago Area Consortium in German Philosophy
Feb 10, 2012
University of Illinois
Student Center East, 570 South Halsted Street, Room 302
Robert Pippin: After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Visual Modernism
David Wellbery:The Concept of Artistic Medium in Idealist Aesthetics
Karl Ameriks: Stages of the Aesthetic, from Kant to Nietzsche
Elizabeth Millan-Zaibert: Aesthetics and the Opening of the European Mind: Alexander von Humboldt's Views of America
Contact person: Daniel Smyth


Concepts of Bildung around 1800 and Wilhelm von Humboldt’s Idea of the University

November 18th-19th, 2011
Franke Institute of the Humanities
Conference Coordinator: Michael Forster








Georg Simmel: Life, Self, Culture, Society

November 11 - 12, 2011
Franke Institute for the Humanities
Sponsored by the Department of Philosophy and eight other University units, the Conference will include talks and discussions of a wide range of Simmelian topics, from social interaction, monetary dynamics, history, and psychology to music, art, literature, ethics, metaphysics, religion, and philosophical modernism.

Distinguished scholars from universities outside the United States include: Alessandro Cavalli, University of Pavia; Fabio D'Andrea, University of Perugia; Annette Disselkamp, University of Lille; Arthur Frank, University of Calgary; Austin Harrington, University of Erfurt; Thomas Kemple, University of British Columbia; Volkhard Krech, R.U. Bochum;  and Ingo Meyer, Bielefeld University.

Two Professors in the Department of Philosophy will serve as session chairs at the Conference. Robert Pippin will chair the session, "Simmel and Modernity," and James Conant will chair a session including the papers "Lebensanschauung and Simmel's Life" and "Simmel as a Transitional Figure in German Philosophy."
Participants associated with other units of the University will include: John Andrews (Sociology), Woody Carter (Public Policy), Paolo Castaño (Sociology), Elisabeth Clemens (Sociology), Ryan Coyne (Divinity), Elizabeth Goodstein (Ideas and Methods), Berthold Hoeckner (Music), Hans Joas (Social Thought and Sociology), John Levi Martin (Sociology), Donald Levine (Sociology), Paul Mendes-Flohr (Divinity), Barry Schwartz (Sociology), Mario Small (Sociology), Tom Smith (Sociology) , and David Wellbery (Germanic Studies).

Sessions are free and open to observers, but due to limited space, those interested will need to register in advance with the Conference Staff at



Ethics and the Place of Philosophy:
The Legacy of Bernard Williams' Critique

October 28 - 30, 2011
Conference Coordinator: Jonathan Lear
Student Coordinator: Mark Hopwood


Wittgenstein on the Literary, the Ethical, and the Unsayable


The password to access the papers is: unaussprechlich

June 2 – 4, 2011









A Philosophical Reunion

May 28 - 29. 2011
Classics 110

Philosophical conversations that begin in graduate school need not end there.  As a way of keeping these conversations alive, we are inviting our recent PhD graduates back to campus for two days, during which they will present their current works-in-progress. 


Conference organizer: Zed Adams


Contradiction: The Weissbourd 2011 Conference

Conference Schedule and more:

May 6 - 7, 2011
Coordinators: Dina Gusejnova and Emily Steinlight










The Fifth Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

Saturday, April 30th, 10:30am – 3:30pm
Harper Memorial 140
Keynote Speaker: Professor Agnes Callard
Coordinator: Ian Caughlan
The essays can be found at




Aristotle and Kant on Form and Matter

April 15 - 17, 2011
Classics 110

The distinction between form and matter plays a crucial role in the philosophies of both Aristotle and Kant. Kant himself observes at one point in the First Critique: "Matter and Form. These are two concepts which lie at the basis of all other reflection, so very inseparably are they bound up with the use of the understanding. (A 266/B 322)." Yet the centrality of this distinction for Kant's philosophy has often been overlooked in the secondary literature. This conference will be concerned to explore the following three questions (1) how does Aristotle deploy this distinction?, (2) how does Kant deploy this distinction?, (3) does a proper appreciation of the answer to the first question enable one to better answer the second? We will pay special attention to the deployment of this distinction in epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of logic.

Website & Schedule:

Conference Coordinator: Jim Conant

Student Coordinator: Daniel Smyth

This conference is sponsored by the German Philosophy Workshop, the Humboldt Foundation, and the Franke Institute for the Humanities.


Virtue, Action, and Reason: A Conference in Honor of Anselm Müller

April 2 - 3, 2011
Commons Room, Swift Hall
Anselm Müller is rare among contemporary philosophers in the scope and range of the contributions he has made to the discipline at large. He has worked in ethics (in both the Western and Eastern traditions), the theory of rationality, philosophy of mind and action, philosophy of language, political theory, the history of philosophy (in particular, he has written extensively on the thought of Aristotle and Wittgenstein), bio-ethics, the philosophy of religion and the philosophy of education.

The conference will aim to showcase the breadth and depth of Professor Müller’s body of work. Each speaker will engage with a text or theme in his work and offer a critical response to it. We anticipate papers on subjects that range from perennial issues in practical philosophy to contemporary problems in Christian ethics.

Conference Coordinators: Agnes Callard and Jennifer Frey

This conference is sponsored by the Nicholson Center for British Studies, the Franke Institute, and the Lumen Christi Institute.


Spiritual Exercises: From Antiquity to the Present

January 27 - 28, 2011
Thursday sessions: Classics 110, 1010 E. 59th St.; 9:30 am - 6:30 pm
Friday sessions: Franke Institute, Regenstein Library, East Wing, 1100 E. 57th St., 9:00 am - 1:30 pm

Schedule (PDF)
Pierre Hadot’s seminal work on the ancient conception of philosophy as a way of life has had a deep impact on contemporary philosophers as diverse as Michel Foucault, Myles Burnyeat, and Hilary Putnam. On Hadot’s view, philosophy in Antiquity was not, or not primarily, conceived of as the exposition of an abstract theory or doctrine. Philosophy was a way of life, a set of activities and practices—or exercises—that aim at human happiness, at self-transformation in the service of the perfection of wisdom, and at the transformation of one’s perception of the world.  Despite Hadot’s growing influence, there has been relatively little scholarship extending the tradition of spiritual exercises from Antiquity forwards. This conference will be the first to bring together a wide group of scholars working on the diverse range of contexts in which spiritual exercises figure: from the Arabic and Buddhist traditions to medieval Jewish philosophy to medieval Christianity to early modern philosophy and mathematics and, finally, to nineteenth and twentieth century theology and philosophy.  It will be the first attempt to do a comparative study of the exercises, studied through multiple disciplines and across a range of religious and philosophical traditions.

This conference was sponsored by the The Franke Institute, Dept. of Philosophy, Chicago Center for Jewish Studies, the France-Chicago Center, and the Divinity School.

Conference Coordinators: Josef Stern and Arnold Davidson


Representation, Emotion, and Cognition 

Eighth Biennial Conference of the Chicago Area Consortium in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy

October 1 – 2, 2010

As in past years, the eighth biennial conference will take place on the campuses of the three cooperating institutions of the Chicago area consortium—Northwestern University, University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The speakers for this year's conference include:

Victor Caston (University of Michigan)

David Charles (Oriel College, Oxford)

Verity Harte (Yale University)

Calvin Normore (UCLA)

Mark Schiefsky (Harvard University)

Katja Vogt (Columbia University).

Coorindator: Matthew Mullins at



The Augustinian Moment: Reflection at the Limits of Selfhood

Featuring presentations by Brian Stock, Burcht Pranger, James Wetzel, and Jean-Luc Marion

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM
3rd Floor Lecture Hall. Divinity School








Mind, Meaning, and Understanding: The Philosophy of John Haugeland

John Haugeland has made important contributions to many different areas of philosophy. His three most lasting contributions, however, will arguably prove to be to the following three fields: (1) to the philosophy of mind, above all, to the question of what is most distinctive about human mindedness; (2) to our critical understanding of artificial intelligence, above all, to our understanding of its inherent limitations as a research program for understanding the nature of human intelligence; and (3) to the interpretation of the German existentialist philosopher Martin Heidegger, above all, to the ways in which a proper understanding of his thought bears upon (1) and (2). This conference will bring together leading scholars in each of these three fields to discuss Haugeland's work.

May 21 - 23, 2010

Classics 110

Conference Coordinator: Jim Conant

Graduate Student Coordinator: Tucker McKinney



Conference: Gender, Law, and the British Novel

Friday, May 14, 2010 (All day) - Saturday, May 15, 2010 (All day)

Organized by Martha Nussbaum, Alison LaCroix, and Jane Dailey, this conference is the second in a series of law and literature conferences, the first of which was the successful Shakespeare conference held in the spring of 2009. 

This conference focuses on the interplay between law and gender in English literature in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.  It seeks to explore, through a legal lens, the literary themes generated by gender and gender roles from Henry Fielding to George Bernard Shaw.  The conference hopes to imbue a broader understanding of the legal and social philosophies that changed and were changed by the respective roles of women and men in England, encouraging a deeper and more complex appreciation in the fields of both literature and the law.  Distinguished writer Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski detective novels, will be a guest speaker. 

Following the tradition set by the first law and literature conference, faculty and student actors will perform dramatic scenes from English plays of the era.  The conference is co-sponsored by the Gender Studies Center.

Faculty Coordinators: Martha Nussbaum, Alison LaCroix

Student Coordinator: Xiaorong Jajah Wu



Capabilities and Education

April 23 - 24, 2010

This conference seeks to link the “Human Development Approach” to the recent literature on the economics, neuroscience, and psychology of human development in order to enrich both fields. The conference will foster a broader notion of capability formation than just formal education or cognition, which has been the focus of the Human Development Approach.  It will adopt a life cycle perspective on capability expression and formation. The aim of the conference is to integrate recent advances in understanding how capabilities are produced into the Human Development Approach and to study the implications of the revised research program for law and public policy. 

Keynote Address: Amartya Sen, Harvard University (Economics and Philosophy)

Conference Organizers: James Heckman, Martha Nussbaum and Robert Pollak



Kant on Intuition

The conference will bring together a number of leading German and American philosophers to discuss the interpretation and significance of Kant's conception of an intuition, with special reference to the readings of Kant on this issue put forward by Wilfrid Sellars, Robert Pippin, and John McDowell, and with special attention to the following three questions: (1) what is an intuition?, (2) what role, if any, do our conceptual capacities play in the constitution of intuitions?, and (3) what significance do Kant's answers to questions (1) and (2) have for contemporary debates in the philosophy of perception?

The conference will have a workshop-format: all papers will be distributed in advance as PDF files and the conference itself will consist entirely of discussion. If you would like to be sent the papers, please contact Justin Shaddock. 

Schedule: April 30 - May 2, 2010

Two sessions on Friday (1:30 to 3:30 and 4 to 6) and three sessions each on Saturday and Sunday (10 to 12, 1:30 to 3:30 and 4 to 6).

Classics 110

Conference Coordinator: Jim Conant

Graduate Student Coordinator: Justin Shaddock



4th Annual University of Chicago Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

April 17th, from 10 AM to 3 PM

Harper 140

Keynote Speaker: Professor Anton Ford

Papers: Professor Anton Ford, Keynote Speaker (University of Chicago) “Action and Passion”

Thiti Owlarn, University of Chicago “Bernard Williams on Practical Necessity and Ethical Life”

Peter Salib, University of Chicago, “Art as Interaction”

Marcella Russo, St. Xavier University “Maintaining First-Person Authority in Finkelstein’s Expression and the Inner: The Question of Intimacy”

Questions? E-mail


Celebration of Bill Wimsatt's Scholarship

Bill Wimsatt has been and continues to be one of the most influential philosophers of science currently working.  He has made fundamental contributions to philosophy of biology, especially the analysis of complex systems, the understanding of levels of organization and units of selection, and models for ontogenetic development and cultural evolution.  More generally he has pioneered conceptions about the role of heuristics in research and theory construction.  Bill’s colleagues, former students, and friends will gather to celebrate these many accomplishments with short papers and long discussions.  The two day celebration will be punctuated with delights from field and vine. 

April 9 - 10, 2010

Social Sciences 224 (1126 East 59th)

Conference Coordinators: Robert Richards and Kevin Davey

Schedule: (PDF)


Chicago Area Consortium in German Philosophy / German Philosophy Workshop

DePaul University
Lincoln Park Campus
February 26, 2010

Contact: Hank Southgate

Schedule and Information (PDF)


Perspectives on the Lekton: A Conference on Contemporary Work on Mental Representation and Context in Semantics, Philosophy of Mind, and Epistemology

This conference brings together philosophers and linguists to debate contemporary issues concerning contextualism and relativism in semantics, the philosophy of mind, and epistemology. Topics will include the explanation of genuine disagreement, the semantics of predicates of personal taste, the context-dependence of thought, and the role of egocentric perspective.

Featuring talks by François Recanati (CNRS, Paris), Pranav Anand (UCSC), Michael Glanzberg (UC Davis), Peter Lasersohn (UIUC) and John McFarlane (UC Berkeley)

November 12 - 13, 2009

The Franke Institute

Conference Coordinators: Josef Stern and Chris Kennedy



November 12 – 13, 2009
The Institute for the Humanities,
Lower Level Stevenson Hall, 701 S. Morgan Street, UIC.
This conference is free and open to the public. Pre-registration is encouraged, at or the conference website:


The Darwin Celebration at University of Chicago

A conference celebrating 200th Anniversary of Charles Darwin's Birth, 150th Anniversary of the Origin of Species by means of Natural Selection and the 50th Anniversary of the Darwin Centennial Celebration held at the University of Chicago in 1959.

Thursday, October 29 – Saturday, October 31, 2009


Conference Coordinator: Robert J. Richards, Fishbein Center for the History of Science

Conference Administrator: Rachel Feinmark,


Rethinking the Genealogy of Morals

October 2 and 3, 2009

The University of Chicago Law School

Speakers:  Dan Batson, Agnes Callard, Michael Forster, Peter Kail, Robin Kar, John Mikhail, Martha Nussbaum, Jesse Prinz, Robert Richards

Contact: Brian Leiter, John P. Wilson Prof. of Law and Dir., Ctr. for Law, Philosophy, and Human Values


IMAGO DEI: Made in the Image and Likeness of God

A Philosophy Conference presented by The Lumen Christi Institute and The Committee on Social Thought

Saturday, October 10, 9:30 am – 5:00 pm
Swift Hall, 3rd Floor Lecture Hall

Contact: Ursula Pawlowski



Philosophy of Physics Work in Progress Mini-Conference

A philosophy conference featuring work-in-progress by a number of leading philosophers currently working on a vareity of overlapping topics in the philosophy of physics.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Social Science Tea Room

10:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Conference Coordinator: Kevin Davey


3rd Annual Undergraduate Philosophy Conference

May 30, 2009

Faculty Coordinator: Michael Kremer

Moderator: Ted Cohen


Shakespeare and the Law

shakespeare image
May 15th and 16th, 2009 

The University of Chicago Law School

This interdisciplinary conference will bring together thinkers from law, literature, and philosophy to investigate the legal dimensions of Shakespeare's plays.   Participants will explore the ways in which the plays show awareness of law and legal regimes and comment on a variety of legal topics, ranging from general themes, such as mercy and the rule of law, to highly concrete legal issues of his time.  Other papers will investigate the subsequent influence of his plays on the law and explore more general issues concerning the relationship between law and literature.

Organized by:
Martha Nussbaum, Judge Richard Posner, Richard Strier



Midwest Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

2-3 May 2009, University of Chicago

Saturday 2 May

12.00-13.15 Ohad Nachtomy (Bar Ilan University) “…nisi… Deus existeret, nihil possibile foret.” Leibniz and Kant on Possibility and Existence

13.15-14.30Marcy Lascano (University of California, Long Beach) Leibniz and Kant on Creation and Emanation

15.00-16.15 Joseph Tinguely (New School of Social Research) What is Orientation not in Thinking? A Reconsideration of Kant and the Role of Feelings in Knowledge

16.15-17.30 Jeffrey K. McDonough (Harvard University) Leibniz’s Meta-Conciliatory Account of Substance

17.45-19.00 Eric Stencil (University of Wisconsin-Madison) Arnauld’s Actualism

Sunday 3 May

9.00-10.15 Fatima R. R. Evora (State University of Campinas) and Marcio A. D. Custodio (Princeton University)The Concept of Matter in Philoponus and its Repercussions in the Beginning of Modern Science

10.15-11.30 Eric Schliesser (Leiden University) Newtonian Emanation, Measurement and the Baconian Origins of the Laws of Nature

12.45-14.00 Lynn S. Joy (University of Notre Dame) Dispositions and Intentionality in Boyle, Newton, and Hume


Anscombe's Intention

Anscombe photo
A two-day Lipkind Conference in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Intention, by G.E.M. Anscombe. April 24 - 25, 2009.


Faculty contact: Anton Ford

Graduate student coordinator: Charles Todd


Nietzsche: Style and Thought - A Colloquium

February 8 - 9, 2008

Sponsors: The Mellon Distinguished Scholar Award, The Center For Interdisciplinary Studies on German Literature and Culture, The Department of Philosophy


PDF of poster






Chicago Consortium in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy Biennial Conference: Beauty, Harmony, and the Good

October 3-4, 2008
Northwestern University, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago


Featured Speakers and commentators: 

Aryeh Kosman (Haverford College), “Beauty and the Good: Situating to kalon
Commentator: Gabriel Richardson Lear (University of Chicago)

Speaker: Rachel Barney (University of Toronto), “The Fine and the Good”
Commentator: Paula Gottlieb (University of Wisconsin, Madison)

Speaker: Andrew Barker (University of Birmingham), “Reassembling Orpheus: Ptolemy’s mathematical reconciliation of intelligible and audible music”
Commentator: Carl Huffman (DePauw University)

Speaker: Reviel Netz (Stanford University), “What did Greek mathematicians find beautiful about their subject matter?”
Commentator: Alexander Lee (University of Chicago)

Speaker: Terence Irwin (University of Oxford), “Beauty and Morality in Aristotle”
Commentator: Anton Ford (University of Chicago)

Speaker: Richard Kraut (Northwestern University), “What is Intrinsic Goodness?”
Commentator: Martha Nussbaum (University of Chicago)


Franke Institute for the Humanities Sawyer Seminar Conference: “The Problem of Non-Discursive Thought from Goethe to Wittgenstein II”

Oct. 12 - 14, 2007
Swift Hall, 1025 East 58th St.

The conference is the closing event of a yearlong Sawyer Seminar at the University devoted to the problem of non-discursive thought as it arose in German philosophy, literature and science in reaction to Kant. The conference will explore the relation between sensibility and understanding as it first arises in Kant's theoretical philosophy and as it is further developed in Kant's aesthetic theory and will consider these in relation to the philosophies of Husserl, Frege, Wittgenstein, and others, with a special focus on the question of the relation between the conceptual and non-conceptual dimensions of both ordinary perceptual and specifically aesthetic experience.


The Self/Le Soi

January 26 - 27, 2007

What is the Self — le Soi — the “me” that says “I” or collectively “we”? What was for the Ancients the question of Being has become in contemporary thought that of the Self. A timeless question asked in multiple ways and which this conference raises again in its diversity. Sponsored jointly by the University of Chicago and the Sorbonne (Paris-IV), it brings together American and French philosophers, theologians and cultural historians, many of whom participated in an initial conference held in Paris last year. English translations of the French papers will be provided. All sessions are free and open to the public.


Franke Institute for the Humanities Sawyer Seminar Conference: “The Problem of Non-Discursive Thought from Goethe to Wittgenstein”

Oct. 6 - 8, 2006
Swift Hall, 1025 East 58th St.

The conference is the opening event of a yearlong Sawyer Seminar at the University that will investigate the problem of non-discursive thought as it arose in German philosophy, literature and science in reaction to Kant. The conference will explore both early formulations of the problem in Goethe, Hegel and other post-Kantians, and later re-incarnations in the work of Wittgenstein, Benjamin and some of their contemporaries.

PDF of poster



A Conference about Kant and Hegel

October 9, 2006, University of Chicago

Topics: Kant & Hegel and McDowell & Pippin on Kant & Hegel

Including: James Conant (University of Chicago)
Sebastian Rödl (University of Leipzig)
John McDowell (University of Pittsburgh)
Robert Pippin (University of Chicago)
Paul Franks (Notre Dame University)
Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (University of Leipzig)


The World of a Movie: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Film and Philosophy

April 7, 2006 (screenings April 6)

Cochrane Woods Art Center, University of Chicago

“World Without End: Polanski’s Chinatown
Chair: Danielle Allen (Department of Classics, Chicago)
Speaker: Joel Snyder (Department of Art History, Chicago)

“Are You Looking at Me? Lady in the Lake & the World of a Movie”
Chair:  Robert Pippin (Committee on Social Thought, Chicago)
Speaker: James Conant (Department of Philosophy, Chicago)

“How Does Film Stitch Together A World? Griffith & the Instantaneous Message”
Chair: David Levin (Department of Germanic Studies, Chicago)
Speaker: Tom Gunning (Committee on Cinema and Media Studies, Chicago)

“Where Is the World?  The Horizon of Events in Movie Fiction”
Chair:  James Chandler (Department of English, Chicago)
Speaker: Victor Perkins (Department of Film Studies, University of Warwick, UK)


Chicago Consortium in Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy Biennial Conference: Philosophy and Religion in Ancient Greece

November 3-4, 2006
Northwestern University, Univ. of Illinois at Chicago, University of Chicago