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Early Modern Interest Group

Meeting time: Fridays 1:30–3:00 PM (about every other week – see calendar below)
Meeting place: Minnesota Center for Philosophy of Science library, 737 Heller Hall unless otherwise noted.

The early modern interest group (EMIG) reads and discusses primary and secondary literature focused on natural philosophy from the early modern period, especially in the work of key philosophers such as Descartes, Leibniz, and Kant. Our basis for selecting readings is to study works that are routinely ignored in the philosophy curriculum. Natural philosophical discoveries and debates are often pertinent to understanding why these philosophers adopted particular positions or rejected others, and our goal is to become familiar with a wide range of these neglected works.

Our meetings are informal, and some participants need to arrive late or leave early because of scheduling conflicts. All faculty and graduate students from the University of Minnesota and area colleges and universities are welcome to attend whenever they would like (without invitation), and without giving advanced notice. Undergraduates can be included by invitation. If you know of an undergraduate who is well suited and possibly interested, please contact Jessica Gordon-Roth, Bennett McNulty or Victor Boantza so an invitation can be extended.

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Fall 2018

This semester EMIG will be reading Emilie Du Châtelet's Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings Edited and with an Introduction by Judith P. Zinsser and Translated by Isabelle Bour and Judith P. Zinsser (English translation 2009, Chicago: University of Chicago Press)

September 14: Ch. 1, "Bernard Mandeville's The Fable of the Bees" (35–51) (pdf) and Volume Editor's Introduction (1–24, optional). (pdf)

September 28: Ch. 2, "Dissertation on the Nature and Propagation of Fire" (53–103). (pdf)

October 19: Foundations of Physics Chs. 5 (pdf) and 12 (pdf) (Figures pdf); Kant, Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science, Proof of the Phoronomic Proposition (pdf)
Katherine Dunlop
(UT Austin) will be visiting

October 26: Margaret Cavendish, Observations upon Experimental Philosophy (Section 2, 3, 6, 18, 20, 33, 34, 35 [pp. 174-176 only]), as well as Excerpts (pdf).
Benjamin Goldberg
(U South Florida) will be visiting

November 16: CANCELED

December 7: Ch. 3, "Foundations of Physics" (105–200).

Previous Early Modern Interest Group topics

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