Encountering the Author

The series Encountering the Author presents papers on a recently published book on philosophy. The author is invited to be present in order to respond. The series aims to draw attention to high quality scholarship and to provoke discussions and the exchange of ideas.

Diego Bubbio, God and the Self in Hegel: Beyond Subjectivism (SUNY Press, 2017)

Paolo Diego Bubbio Book

Date: Wednesday 23 May 2018
Time: 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Location: Western Sydney University, Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.55, Bankstown Campus

Chair: Jennifer Mensch, Western Sydney University.

Respondents: Jean-Philippe Deranty (Macquarie University), Simon Lumsden (UNSW)

God and the Self in Hegel proposes a reconstruction of Hegel’s conception of God and analyses the significance of this reading for Hegel’s idealistic metaphysics. Diego Bubbio argues that in Hegel’s view, subjectivism—the tenet that there is no underlying “true” reality that exists independently of the activity of the cognitive agent—can be avoided, and content can be restored to religion, only to the extent that God is understood in God’s relation to human beings, and human beings are understood in their relation to God. Focusing on traditional problems in theology and the philosophy of religion, such as the ontological argument for the existence of God, the Trinity, and the “death of God,” Bubbio shows the relevance of Hegel’s view of religion and God for his broader philosophical strategy. In this account, as a response to the fundamental Kantian challenge of how to conceive the mind-world relation without setting mind over and against the world, Hegel has found a way of overcoming subjectivism in both philosophy and religion.

Paolo Diego Bubbio is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Western Sydney University. His research is mainly in the area of post-Kantian philosophy. In particular, he is interested in the relation of the post-Kantian tradition (from Kant to Nietzsche) to the later movements of European philosophy. His books include Sacrifice in the Post-Kantian Tradition: Perspectivism, Intersubjectivity, and Recognition (SUNY Press, 2014). He is also the co-editor of several collections of essays and the author of numerous journal articles on Nineteenth century European philosophy.

Previous Encounters:

2016 Encounters

Andrew Benjamin - Towards a Relational Ontology: Philosophy's Other Possibility (SUNY, 2015)

Date: Wednesday 10 August 2016
Time: 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Location: Western Sydney University, Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.54, Bankstown Campus

Chair: Dimitris Vardoulakis, Western Sydney University.

Respondents: Nicole Anderson (Macquarie University), Jeff Malpas (UTas), Magdalena Zolkos (ACU)

andrew-benjaminAndrew Benjamin calls for a new understanding of relationality, one inaugurating a philosophical mode of thought that takes relations among people and events as primary. Drawing on the work of Descartes, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Heidegger,Benjamin shows that a relational ontology has always been at work within the history of philosophy even though philosophy has been reluctant to affirm its presence. He demonstrates that the already present status of a relational ontology is philosophy's other possibility. Touching on a range of topics including community, human-animal relations, and intimacy, Benjamin's thoughtful and penetrating distillation of ancient, modern, and twentieth-century philosophical ideas, and his judicious attention to art and literature make this book a model for original philosophical thinking and writing.

Andrew Benjamin is Professor of Philosophy and Jewish Thought at Monash University (Australia) and Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Humanities at Kingston University (UK). He is the author of several books, including Working with Walter Benjamin: Recovering a Political Philosophy and the coeditor (with Dimitris Vardoulakis) of Sparks Will Fly: Benjamin and Heidegger, also published by SUNY Press.

David Panagia - Ten Theses for an Aesthetics of Politics


Date: Wednesday 27 July 2016
Time: 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Location: Western Sydney University, Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.54, Bankstown Campus

Chair: Associate Professor Dimitris Vardoulakis, Western Sydney University.
Respondents: Alex Ling, Western Sydney University, and Charles Barbour, Western Sydney University.

Abstract panagia-portrait
The Ten Theses for an Aesthetics of Politics is a thought experiment in process that posits the relation of aesthetics and politics as unsettled and, worst, uncritical. That is, these Ten Theses consider the possibility of a pre-judgmental moment of experience where our most heart-felt critical intuitions about how worlds ought to be ordered becomes undone. Crucial to this thought experiment is the advenience of an appearance that generates our senses of aesthetic appreciation and engenders a becoming-undoing of critical criteria. Each of the Ten Theses thus works towards unfolding a dispositional orientation towards the incessancy of experiential life.

Davide Panagia is a political and cultural theorist at University of California, USA who specializes in the relationship between aesthetics and politics. Much of his research is informed by the traditions of moral sentimentalism from the long eighteenth century to the present, especially as regards theories of association and assembly formation in the writings of David Hume, Gilles Deleuze, and Jacques Rancière. Prof. Panagia has published three books: The Poetics of Political Thinking (Duke UP, 2006), The Political Life of Sensation (Duke UP, 2009), and Impressions of Hume: Cinematic Thinking and the Politics of Discontinuity (Rowman and Littlefield, 2013). His two forthcoming books are: Ranciere's Sentiments (Duke, UP) and Ten Theses for an Aesthetics of Politics (University of Minnesota Press/Forerunners).

Diego Bubbio - Sacrifice in the Post-Kantian Traditions. Perspectivism, Intersubjectivity and Recognition

Date: Wednesday 18 May 2016
Time: 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm
Location: Western Sydney University, Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.54, Bankstown Campus

Respondents: Associate Professor, Dimitris Vardoulakis(opens in new window), Western Sydney University. 
And, Simon Lumsden(opens in new window), University of New South Wales.

In this book, Paolo Diego Bubbio offers an alternative to standard philosophical accounts of the notion of sacrifice, which generally begin with the hermeneutic and postmodern traditions of the twentieth century, starting instead with the post-Kantian tradition of the nineteenth century. He restructures the historical development of the concept of sacrifice through a study of Kant, Solger, Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, and shows how each is indebted to Kant and has more in common with him than is generally acknowledged. Bubbio argues that although Kant sought to free philosophical thought from religious foundations, he did not thereby render the role of religious claims philosophically useless. This makes it possible to consider sacrifice as a regulative and symbolic notion, and leads to an unorthodox idea of sacrifice: not the destruction of something for the sake of something else, but rather a kenotic emptying, conceived as a withdrawal or a "making room" for others.

Dr Bubbio was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy at The University of Sydney where he co-directed (with Paul Redding) the Religion and Post-Kantian Philosophy Research
Cluster.  He currently is an ARC Future Fellow in the School of Humanities and Communication Arts. Dr Bubbio's research is mainly in the area of post-Kantian philosophy. As well as Sacrifice in the Post-Kantian Traditions. Perspectivism, Intersubjectivity and Recognition, (SUNY Press 2014), Diego has two other monographs in Italian. He has a number of chapters in books, and articles published in academic journals such as The British Journal for the History of Philosophy, International Journal of Philosophical Studies, International Journal for Philosophy of Religion, and Heythrop Journal. He is co-editor of The Relationship of Philosophy to Religion Today(Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2011) and, Religion After Kant: God and Culture in the Idealist Era (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2012). He is also the editor of Luigi Pareyson's Existence, Interpretation, FreedomSelected WritingsThe Davies Group Publishers 2009 ), and the editor of the Book series "New Studies in Idealism", published by Davies Group.

2015 Encounters

Illit Ferber - Philosophy and Melancholy: Benjamin's Early Reflections on Theater and Language

Philosophy@Western organised an "Encountering the Author" seminar on Ilit Ferber's new book Philosophy and Melancholy

Date: Wednesday 22 July 2015
Time: 3.00 pm to 5.00 pm
Location: University of Western Sydney Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.55, Bankstown Campus.

Respondents: Fiona Jenkins (opens in a new window) (ANU), Harriette Richards (Phd student, UWS), Dimitris Vardoulakis (UWS)

This book traces the concept of melancholy in Walter Benjamin's early writings. Rather than focusing on the overtly melancholic subject matter of Benjamin's work or the unhappy circumstances of his own fate, Ferber considers the concept's implications for his philosophy. Informed by Heidegger's discussion of moods and their importance for philosophical thought, she contends that a melancholic mood is the organizing principle or structure of Benjamin's early metaphysics and ontology. Her novel analysis of Benjamin's arguments about theater and language features a discussion of the Trauerspiel book that is amongst the first in English to scrutinize the baroque plays themselves. Philosophy and Melancholy also contributes to the history of philosophy by establishing a strong relationship between Benjamin and other philosophers, including Leibniz, Kant, Husserl, and Heidegger.

Ilit Ferber is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Tel-Aviv University. Her publications include Philosophy and Melancholy: Benjamin's Early Reflections on Theater and Language (Stanford University Press, 2013) and articles on Benjamin, Leibniz, Herder, Freud, Heidegger and Scholem. She has also co-edited Philosophy's Moods (Springer, 2011) and Lament in Jewish Thought (De Gruyter, 2014). Ferber is currently working on a book that explores the relationships between pain and language in the writings of Herder, Rousseau, Benjamin and Wittgenstein.

2014 Encounters

Gil Andidjar - Blood: A Critique of Christianity

Philosophy@UWS and the Writing and Society Research Centre are organising an "Encountering the Author" seminar on Gil Anidjars' book Blood: A Critique of Christianity (opens in a new window)

Date: Wednesday 3 December 2014
Time: 2.30pm to 5.00 pm
Location: University of Western Sydney Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.55, Bankstown Campus.
All welcome - Please RSVP to philosophy@uws.edu.au for catering purposes

Chair: Dimitris Vardoulakis
Chris Fleming (UWS), Simon During (opens in a new window) (UQ), Alana Lentin (UWS), Miguel Vatter (opens in a new window) (UNSW), Dimitris Vardoulakis (UWS)

, according to Gil Anidjar, maps the singular history of Christianity. As a category for historical analysis, blood can be seen through its literal and metaphorical uses as determining, sometimes even defining Western culture, politics, and social practices and their wide-ranging incarnations in nationalism, capitalism, and law.

Gil Anidjar (opens in a new window) is a professor of religion, comparative literature, and Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African studies at Columbia University. His books include The Jew, The Arab: A History of the Enemy and Semites: Race, Religion, Literature.
Gil Anidjar

Jessica Whyte - Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben

Philosophy@UWS and the Writing and Society Research Centre are organising an "Encountering the Author" seminar on Dr Jessica Whytes' book Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben (opens in a new window)

Date: Wednesday September 10
Time: 3.00pm to 5.00 pm
Location: University of Western Sydney Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.27, Bankstown Campus. All welcome.

Chair: Dimitris Vardoulakis
Speakers: Justin Clemens (opens in a new window), Daniel McLoughlin (opens in a new window), Simone Bignall

Jessica WhyteCatastrophe and Redemption is a Senior Lecturer in Cultural and Social Analysis at the University of Western Sydney, Australia.She has published widely on theories of sovereignty and biopolitics, critical legal theory, critiques of human rights and contemporary continental philosophy. Her current research is on the emergence of the "right to intervene" in the practices of the new activist humanitarian NGOs of the 1970s, and its transformation into a legitimising discourse for state militarism. She is the author of Catastrophe and Redemption: The Political Thought of Giorgio Agamben (SUNY Series in Contemporary Continental Philosophy, 2013).

Enquiries: Sabrina Achilles: s.achilles@uws.edu.au

Dimitris Vardoulakis - Sovereignty and its Other

Sovereignty and its Other Philosophy@UWS and the Writing and Society Research Centre are organising an "Encountering the Author" seminar on Dimitris Vardoulakis' book Sovereignty and its Other

Date: Wednesday May 21

Time: 3.30 to 5.00 pm

Location: University of Western Sydney Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.27, Bankstown Campus. All welcome.

Commenters are: Charles Barbour, Charlotte Epstein, Genevieve Lloyd

In Sovereignty and its Other, Dimitris Vardoulakis starts by asking whether an opposite to sovereignty can be thought.

To answer this question, Vardoulakis explores how violence is justified. Justification is presented as constitutive of the operation of sovereignty. Vardoulakis analyses three specific forms of justification, corresponding to three different ways of conceiving sovereignty.

But justification is confined to giving reasons for certain actions – it is confined to the operation of rationality. Perhaps, the opposite of sovereignty is nothing else but what remains in excess of rationality. This is not irrationality, but whatever cannot fit within various forms of justification. It is the various modalities of living, which cannot be accounted for logically because they pertain to how people are affected by others and by their environment.

Given this distinction, Vardoulakis contends that the crucial question for sovereignty is: What is the relation between the forms of justification, and the different forms of living which are incommensurable with reason? What is the relation between sovereignty and its other? His answer adumbrates both a theory of resistance to constituted power, and a conception of agonistic democracy.

Dimitris Vardoulakis  is the chair of the Philosophy@UWS. He is the director of the lecture series "Thinking out Loud: The Sydney Lectures in Philosophy and Society" (which is also published by Fordham University Press), and the co-editor of the book series "Incitements" (Edinburgh University Press). His books include, the monographs: The Doppelganger: Literature's Philosophy (Fordham UP, 2010) and Sovereignty and its Other: Toward the Dejustification of Violence (Fordham UP, 2013) and the edited collections Spinoza Now (U of Minnesota P, 2011), The Politics of Nothing: on Sovereignty (Routledge, 2013) and "Sparks will fly": Walter Benjamin and Martin Heidegger (SUNY, 2014). His book Stasis: On Agonistic Democracy is forthcoming by Fordham University Press in 2015.

Enquiries: Sabrina Achilles: s.achilles@uws.edu.au

Joseph Slaughter - Human Rights Inc. The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law

Joseph_book_cover Philosophy@UWS and the Writing and Society Research Centre are organising an "Encountering the Author" seminar on Joseph Slaughter's book Human Rights Inc. The World Novel, Narrative Form, and International Law.

Joseph Slaughter will discuss his important book, followed by responses from Ben Golder (Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales), Ben Etherington (Research Lecturer in the Writing and Society Research Centre at the University of Western Sydney), and Jessica Whyte (Cultural and Social Analysis, UWS--participating chair.)

Date: Tuesday April 15

Time: 3.30 to 5.00 pm

Location: University of Western Sydney Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.27, Bankstown Campus. All welcome.

In this timely study of the historical, ideological, and formal interdependencies of the novel and human rights, Joseph Slaughter demonstrates that the twentieth-century rise of "world literature" and international human rights law are related phenomena.

Slaughter argues that international law shares with the modern novel a particular conception of the human individual. The Bildungsroman, the novel of coming of age, fills out this image, offering a conceptual vocabulary, a humanist social vision, and a narrative grammar for what the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and early literary theorists both call "the free and full development of the human personality."

Revising our received understanding of the relationship between law and literature, Slaughter suggests that this narrative form has acted as a cultural surrogate for the weak executive authority of international law, naturalizing the assumptions and conditions that make human rights appear commonsensical. As a kind of novelistic correlative to human rights law, the Bildungsroman has thus been doing some of the sociocultural work of enforcement that the law cannot do for itself.

This analysis of the cultural work of law and of the social work of literature challenges traditional Eurocentric histories of both international law and the dissemination of the novel. Taking his point of departure in Goethe's Wilhelm Meister, Slaughter focuses on recent postcolonial versions of the coming-of-age story to show how the promise of human rights becomes legible in narrative and how the novel and the law are complicit in contemporary projects of globalization: in colonialism, neoimperalism, humanitarianism, and the spread of multinational consumer capitalism.

Slaughter raises important practical and ethical questions that we must confront in advocating for human rights and reading world literature—imperatives that, today more than ever, are intertwined.

Joseph Slaughter (opens in a new window) is Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University, New York. He teaches and publishes in the fields of postcolonial literature and theory, African, Caribbean, and Latin American literatures, postcolonialism, narrative theory, human rights, and 20th-century ethnic and third world literatures.

Enquiries: Jessica Whyte: J.Whyte@uws.edu.au

James Muldoon - Hegel's Philosophy of Drives

Hegel's Philosophy of DrivesDate: Wednesday, 26 March, 2014

Time: 3.30 pm to 5.00 pm

Venue: University of Western Sydney 
Building 3, Ground Level, Room 3.G.55
Bankstown Campus.

All welcome.

Philosophy@UWS is organizing an "Encountering the Author" seminar on James Muldoon's latest book "Hegel's Philosophy of Drives". New Studies in Idealism Book Series. Aurora, CO: Noesis Press, 2014.

James Muldoon (opens in a new window) is a PhD candidate at Monash University and The University of Warwick (UK). Muldoon has published works on Foucault, Arendt, Lazzarato, Machiavelli and democratic theory. James has lectured in critical theory and political philosophy at Monash University, Swinburne University and the Melbourne School of Continental Philosophy. James has studied at the Institut d'études politiques, Paris and is the current recipient of a Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst Scholarship to study in Berlin. His current research project concerns the political theory of Hannah Arendt.


Paul Redding (opens in a new window)
Paul Redding is Professor of Philosophy in the School of Philosophical and Historical Inquiry at the University of Sydney. He is the author of Hegel's Hermeneutics (Cornell University Press, 1996), The Logic of Affect (Cornell University Press, 1999), Analytic Philosophy and the Return of Hegelian Thought (Cambridge University Press, 2007), and Continental Idealism: Leibniz to Nietzsche (Routledge, 2009).

Simon Lumsden (opens in a new window)
Simon Lumsden is convenor of the Philosophy program and Senior Lecturer in Philosophy at the School of Humanities and Languages, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, UNSW. He is the author of Self-Consciousness and the Critique of the Subject: Hegel, Heidegger and Poststructuralism, Columbia University Press, forthcoming 2014. He has published widely on German idealism and post-structuralism and the relation between these traditions.

2013 Encounters

Gianni Vattimo - Hermeneutic Communism

Vattimo imageDate: Monday, 2 December 2013

Time: 2.30 pm to 4.00 pm

Venue: University of Western Sydney 
Building EA, Ground Level, Room EA.G.33
Parramatta Campus.

Philosophy@UWS is organizing an "Encountering the Author" workshop on Gianni Vattimo's latest book "Hermeneutic Communism" (with Santiago Zabala, 2011).

Vattimo will be present to participate in a roundtable discussion on his book that will include Prof Peg Birmingham (opens in a new window) (DePaul University, Chicago) and Dr Diego Bubbio (UWS). Charles Barbour (UWS) will be the chair.

Daphne Hampson and John Lippit - A Celebration of Kierkegaard's 200th Birthday

Daphne Hampson, Kierkegaard: Exposition & Critique 
(Oxford University Press, 2013)

John Lippitt, Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self-Love
(Cambridge University Press, 2013)

Wednesday, 14 August 2013
Time: 1.30 pm to 3.30 pm, followed by afternoon tea 
Place: University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus2 Bullecourt Avenue, Milperra Building 3, Room G.55

1.30 to 2.25 pm: Daphne Hampson, Kierkegaard: Exposition & Critique 
Response by John Lippitt
2.25 to 2.35 pm: Break
2.35 to 3.30 pm: John Lippitt, Kierkegaard and the Problem of Self Love
Response by Daphne Hampson
3.30 pm: Afternoon tea

book cover johnbook cover 14 aug

Siobhan O'Sullivan - Animals, Equality and Democracy

EtA Sept 25

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Time: 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm

Place: University of Western Sydney
2 Bullecourt Avenue, Milperra
Building 3, Room G.55
Bankstown Campus

Animal welfare laws for hens in petting zoos are more comprehensive than laws for broiler hens raised for meat. Seem strange? In Animals, Equality and Democracy Siobhan O'Sullivan exposes inconsistencies in animal protection laws that favour the most popular, best known nonhuman animals. She also shows that protections vary depending on how we want to make use of a particular animal, with the most visible animals receiving the strongest level of protection. She argues that contemporary animal welfare laws make the lives of animals akin to a lottery. O'Sullivan calls this the 'internal inconsistency' and argues that animal protection inequalities offend fundamental liberal democratic values. She argues that this is a justice issue and proposes that both human-animal studies scholars, and animal advocates, turn their attention to the internal inconsistency as a pressing matter of social justice.

Dr. Siobhan O'Sullivan (opens in a new window) is a Research Fellow in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has published extensively on animal related matters, with a particular emphasis on how our political institutions influence the life chances of nonhuman animals.

Other speakers include:

Fiona Probyn-Rapsey (opens in a new window), University of Sydney, Jane Johnson (opens in a new window), Macquarie University, Chris Degeling (opens in a new window), University of Sydney, John HadleyUniversity of Western Sydney

2012 & 2011 Encounters

Beth Lord - Kant and Spinozism

Kant and SpinozismBeth Lord, Kant and Spinozism: Transcendental Idealism and Immanence from Jacobi to Deleuze (Palgrave, 2011)

Participants: Andrew Benjamin (Monash University) and Simon Duffy (University of Sydney)
Respondent: Beth Lord

Thursday, May 19, 2-3.30pm, 2011
University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus
Building 3, Room G.27

Spinoza was "re-discovered" in the twentieth century through Althusser and Deleuze's interpretations. Within this "post-structuralist" context, Spinoza was seen to offer an alternative to the dialectic. Thus, Spinoza has mostly been interpreted through his reception after Kant, for instance, in the philosophy of Hegel. Beth Lord shows that the background to this post-Kantian reception is crucial in understanding Spinoza's reception in idealism and romanticism. In the late eighteenth century, several thinkers attempted to fuse Kant's transcendental idealism with Spinoza's philosophy of immanence. These 'Spinozistic' readings of Kant had a profound influence on the development of his theories of nature and teleology in the Critique of Judgment. By presenting this background, Lord provides a broader and illuminating basis for grasping Spinoza's influence in modern thought.

You can hear Beth Lord talking about Spinoza on the Philosopher's Zone.

Paul Patton - Deleuzian Concepts

deleuzean concepts

Paul Patton(opens in a new window), Deleuzian Concepts(opens in a new window) (Stanford University Press, 2010).

Participants: Paul Muldoon (Monash), Simon Duffy (University of Sydney), Anthony Uhlmann (University of Western Sydney), Sabrina Achilles (University of Western Sydney)
Respondent: Paul Patton (University of New South Wales)

: Tuesday, 1 May 2012
Time: 1.30pm to 4.30pm
Place:University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus 2 Bullecourt Avenue, Milperra Building 3, Room G.55.

Patton's Deleuzian Concepts is a series of essays that provide important interpretations and analyse critical developments of the political philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. They situate his thought in the contemporary intellectual landscape by comparing him with contemporaries such as Derrida, Rorty, and Rawls and show how elements of his philosophy may be usefully applied to key contemporary issues including colonization and decolonization, the nature of liberal democracy, and the concepts and critical utopian aspirations of political philosophy. Patton discusses Deleuze's notion of philosophy as the creation of concepts and shows how this may be helpful in understanding the nature of political concepts such as rights, justice, and democracy. Rather than merely commenting on or explaining Deleuze's thought, Patton offers a series of attempts to think with Deleuzian concepts in relation to other philosophers and other problems.

RSVP by Thursday, 26 April to philosophy@uws.edu.au is essential for catering purposes.

Genevieve Lloyd - Providence Lost

providence lost book title pageGenevieve Lloyd, Providence Lost (Harvard University Press, 2009).

Participants: Amy Allen (Darmouth College), Chris Fleming (UWS), Norma Lam-Saw (UWS) , Nick Malpas (University of Sydney), Dimitris Vardoulakis (UWS), Allison Weir (UWS)
Respondent: Genevieve Lloyd

Wednesday, December 7
Time: 1.30 to 4.30, followed by nibbles and drinks
Place: University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus
2 Bullecourt Avenue, Milperra
Building 3, Room G.55,

RSVP by noon December 5 to s.martinez@uws.edu.au is essential for catering purposes

1.30 – 3.00: Amy Allen (Darmouth College) Norma Lam-Saw (UWS) Chris Fleming (UWS)
3.00 - 3.30: coffee break
3.30 – 4.30: Nick Malpas (University of Sydney) Dimitris Vardoulakis (UWS)
Respondent: Genevieve Lloyd
4.30 - 5.30: Reception (please RSVP to by noon December 5 to s.martinez@uws.edu.au)

In this provocative book, leading Australian philosopher Genevieve Lloyd proposes an alternative history of freedom. Lloyd traces how the usual distinction between necessity and freedom of the will that governs the discourse on freedom is in fact intermixed with the discourse on providence. Providence thus becomes the cipher of many of our preconceived ideas of what it means to be free.

You can hear Prof Lloyd talking about her book on the ABC website.


Susan James - Spinoza on Philosophy, Religion, and Politics: The Theologico-Political Treatise

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Time : 2.00 to 4.00 pm, followed by nibbles and drinks

Place : University of Western Sydney, Bankstown Campus
2 Bullecourt Avenue, Milperra
Building 3, Room G.55

RSVP by noon 3 September to philosophy@uws.edu.au is essential for catering purposes

Program :

2.00 – 3.00 pm: Perspectives on

Genevieve Lloyd (Macquarie University)
Michael Rosenthal (University of Washington)
Dimitris Vardoulakis (UWS)

3.00 to 3.20 pm: Response by Professor Susan James
3.20 – 4.00 pm: Q&A

Professor Susan James inverses Leo Strauss' reading of Spinoza. Whereas Strauss emphasized the hidden subtext of Spinoza's arguments, James revives the explicit debates of his time within which Spinoza's Theologico-Political Treatise was situated. But this is not a simple historical reconstruction. James' close reading of the Treatise offers a radically new perspective on Spinoza's revolutionary book – a reading that presents startling new perspective on the political, metaphysical and theological implications of the book. Given the importance of Spinoza's political writings in contemporary radical democratic approaches to the state, James intervention has the potential to reshape the way we think of a Spinozan politics.

To listen to this discussion use the audio players below. You can also download the audio onto your computer by clicking links below.  ‪

Audio presentation by Genevieve Lloyd (Macquarie University)

Audio presentation by Michael Rosenthal (University of Washington)

Audio presentation by Dimitris Vardoulakis (UWS)

Audio Response by Professor Susan James