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Upcoming Events

SPA 2023 Annual Conference on the theme “Naturalism” plus AGM

University of Edinburgh (Bayes Centre – G.03)

7th-8th of December

  • Speakers include Jennifer Corns (Glasgow), Alex Douglas (St Andrews), and Katie Robertson (Stirling) plus a discussion panel with Debbie Roberts (Edinburgh), Michael Wheeler (Stirling) and Jo Wolff (Edinburgh). Full programme here.

Neutrality and Neutralism Workshop

  • Arché Research Centre, University of St Andrews
  • November 30th – December 1st 2023
  • Venue: School II, United College, St Salvator’s Quad, St Andrews, KY169AL

Social Ontology Conference (16-19 August, Stockholm)

SPA Annual General Meeting 2022


Thursday 8th of December (in Dalhousie 1S10, Building 1, Second Floor, Room 10)

  • Launch event for ACE (Analytic-Continental Encounters) – St. Andrews and Dundee
  • 4.00 pm – 6.00pm Graham Priest – Nothingness and the limits of thought/language
  • 6.00 pm – 7.30 pm Drinks at DCA

Friday 9th of December (in Dalhousie 1S03, Building 1, Second floor, Room 3)

  • 09.30 – 11:00 Walter Pedrali – The Labyrinth of Norms. Temporal Externalism and Marxist Ethics
  • 11.00 – 11.15 Break – Coffee and Tea
  • 11.15 – 12:45 Graham Priest – Social Atomism and its Problems—Metaphysical and Political
  • 12.45 – 14:00 Break
  • 14:00 – 15:30 AGM of the Scots Philosophical Association
  • 15.30 – 16:00 Break – Coffee and Tea
  • 16:00 – 17:30 Amelie Berger-Soraruff – Challenging Innovation in Philosophy of Technology and Design

SPA Annual General Meeting 2022


Friday 14th January 2022 (via Zoom)

  •  09:30 – 11:00 Jennifer Smalligan Marusic
  • 11:00 – 1115 Break
  • 11:15 – 12:45 Stephanie Rennick
  • 12:45 – 14:00 Break
  • 14:00 – 15:30 AGM of the Scots Philosophical Association
  • 15;30 – 16:00 Break
  • 16:00 – 17:30 Elizabeth Barnes


4th-5th May 2020 – Workshop on Social Media and Public Pedagogy

St Andrews

17th-19th April 2020 – Conference on General Philosophy: “3rd Annual CEPPA Graduate Conference

29th-30th April 2020 – Workshop on History of Philosophy: “Theories of Paradox in the Middle Ages


7th-8th May 2020 – Seminar on History of Philosophy: “Scottish Seminary in Early Modern Philosophy XI

18th-19th June 2020 – Seminar on Moral Philosophy: “Kant and Epistemic Norms” (Details forthcoming)

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Recent Events at St. Andrews

18th-19th April 2019 – Conference on Eleatics: “New trends in the Study of Eleatism

15th-16th June 2019 – Conference on Epistemology: “Epistemic Breakthroughs

13th-14th September 2019 – Conference on Moral Philosophy: “The Early Critique of Kant’s Moral Philosophy

11th-12th October 2019 – Conference on Ancient Philosophy: “The Soul In Ancient Philosophy

2nd November 2019 – Conference on Philosophy of Education: “Philosophy in Schools

3rd December 2019 – Symposium on Moral Philosophy: “Kant’s ‘Supposed Right to Lie”

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Public Lecture by Franz Berto at Royal Society of Edinburgh (13 Feb; Edinburgh)

Professor Franz Berto (Universities of St Andrews and Amsterdam): Public Lecture 4
‘Knowledge via Imagination’

Wednesday 13 February 2019, at 5.30-7.30: Public Lecture 4
Wellcome West Room, Royal Society of Edinburgh, 28 George Street Edinburgh

The human mind can contemplate the strangest unreal scenarios in imagination, from dragons and unicorns to exotic islands or science fictions. Why? What is the evolutionary utility of such mental escapes from reality?
One promising answer is that imagination helps to answer ‘what if?’ questions. What if I try to jump the stream? Will I get to the other side, or will I get hurt? Will a no-deal Brexit make me lose my job? Instead of actually trying a dangerous jump, or waiting for a no-deal Brexit to come, we imagine these events taking place, and try to guess what would happen then.
Empirical research shows that imagination as mental simulation helps us in a number of ways: skiers imagining the path they’ll follow in the ski run perform better in a downhill race. House movers imagining guiding the couch through the living room door can reliably conclude that it will in fact pass through the door.
But how can it be? If imagination is an arbitrary escape from reality, we can imagine whatever we like. How can this give us knowledge about reality, then? Better understanding how imagination as mental simulation works – which traps we are prone to fall into when we use it, when it can give us new, reliably formed and true beliefs – will help us to become better mental simulators, thus better equipped to deal with the uncertainties of the future. This is what this talk is about.

The lecture will be preceded by a brief drinks reception from 5.00-5.30.
Attendance is free and open to all.

Public Lectures

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CEPPA Graduate Conference in Moral and Political Philosophy; St Andrews; 8 – 10 February


What Difference Does It Make?

Philosophy’s Impact Beyond Philosophy


2nd CEPPA Graduate Conference in Moral and Political Philosophy  

8-10 February 2019 in St Andrews, Edgecliffe 104

The second CEPPA Graduate Conference provides a platform for early-career moral and political philosophers to discuss their work in a constructive and friendly environment.

The conference is open to all, and we especially encourage you to attend if you are not studying philosophy at university but are interested in moral and political philosophy nonetheless.

This year, the theme of our conference focuses on the question what impact philosophy can and should have beyond academia. We are asking our speakers to explain how society might benefit from better understanding their topic, and how their research can make a difference.

We are especially delighted to have Carrie Jenkins (University of British Columbia) delivering a talk on how to be a public philosopher. Everyone interested in making an impact with philosophy is very welcome to attend.

Lunch Tea and Coffee will be provided for all attendants.


17:00 Registration and Wine Reception

18:00 “So, You Want to Be a Public Philosopher?”
Public Philosophy Workshop with Carrie Jenkins (University of British Columbia)

9:30 “Clay, Glass and Implicit Bias”
Sam Sumpter (University of Washington)
Comments by Katherine Hawley (St Andrews)

11:00 “Why It Makes No Difference Whether You Make a Difference”
Samuel Lee (New York University)
Comments by Rowan Cruft (Stirling)

12:15 “On Doing Less Good”
Jessica Fischer (University College London)
Comments by Theron Pummer (St Andrews)

Lunch Break

14:30 Keynote: Christine Bratu (LMU Munich)

16:00 “Probabilistic Classifiers, Unknown Objects, and the Ethics of Automated Vehicles”
Geoff Keeling (University of Bristol)
Comments by Matt Clark (SASP)

17:30 “Microagressions and Indignation: How our Emotions Help us Track Injustice”
Lara Jost (Université de Genève)
Comments by Alison Duncan Kerr (St Andrews)

10:00 “Tackling Lookism”
Enrico Galvagni (University of Trento)
Comments by Lisa Jones (St Andrews)

11:30 “Rawls and the Distribution of Fair Work”
Frauke Schmode (Technischen Universität München)
Comments by Deryn Thomas (SASP)

Lunch Break

13:30 Keynote: Annabelle Lever (Sciences Po Paris)

15:00 “On David Estlund’s Account of Qualified Acceptability”
William Chan (University of Warwick)
Comments by Jakob Hinze (SASP)


Many thanks to the Mind Association, Scots Philosophical Asssociation, the Aristotelian Society, CAPOD, and CEPPA for their generous funding.

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Sociability and the Science of Man in the Scottish Enlightenment: themes from the work of Nicholas Phillipson (1937-2018); Edinburgh, 1 – 2 March

Sociability and the Science of Man in the Scottish Enlightenment: themes from the work of Nicholas Phillipson (1937-2018)

Playfair Library and Raeburn Room, Old College, University of Edinburgh, 1 – 2 March 2019


Friday, 1 March (Playfair Library, Old College)

10.30 – 11.00 am: Tea and Coffee

11.00 – 11.15 am: Introduction

11.15 am – 12.15 pm: Silvia Sebastiani (EHESS, Paris), ‘Lord Monboddo’s “Ugly Tail”: Orangutans in Enlightenment Sciences of Man’

12.15 – 1.30 pm: Lunch

1.30 – 2.30 pm: Ryan Hanley (Marquette University), ‘The Human Good and the Science of Man’

2.30 – 3.30 pm Sylvana Tomaselli (St. John’s College, Cambridge), ‘Reflections on the Art of Being in the Eighteenth Century’

3.30 – 4 pm: Tea and Coffee

4 – 5 pm: Robert Anderson (University of Edinburgh), ‘Nicholas Phillipson and University History’

Saturday, 2 March (Raeburn Room, Old College)

10.45 – 11.15 am: Tea and Coffee

11.15 am – 12.15 pm: Nicholas Phillipson as a teacher

12.15 – 1.15 pm: Lunch

1.15 – 2.15 pm: Nicholas Phillipson’s research: scholarship and sociability

2.15 – 2.30 pm: Concluding Remarks

This event is supported by the Scottish Philosophical Association, the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Eighteenth-Century and Enlightenment Studies Network (ECENS), and the St Andrews Institute of Intellectual History.

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Themes from Alan Weir; Glasgow 10 – 12 December

In a number of areas, Alan Weir has elaborated strikingly original views which involve a radical departure from the main-stream. These include formalism in the philosophy of mathematics, and as well as naïve set theory, with a universal set, and a naïve theory of truth. In contrast to other contemporary defenders of the latter two theories, Weir rejects dialetheism and accepts classical rules for the logical connectives. He avoids contradictions by restricting certain structural inference rules, specifically some generalized versions of transitivity. In addition, Weir has developed radical versions of naturalism and physicalism (partly informed by his work on Quine) and perceptual realism.

The aim of the workshop is to advance research on themes from Weir’s philosophy.

Everyone is welcome, but we request prior registration (at no cost): please email Adam Rieger ( by Monday 3 December if you would like to participate.

Postgraduate student bursaries: thanks to the Analysis Trust, we have up to five postgraduate students available, to cover up to 50% of the cost of accommodation (not travel). If you are interested in applying, please contact Adam Rieger as soon as possible.


Venue: Reid Room, Department of Philosophy, University of Glasgow (69 Oakfield Avenue).

Monday 10th December:

1-1:45: Pre-workshop Tutorial: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Alan Weir

2-3:30: Timothy Williamson (Oxford): ‘Alternative Logics and Applied Mathematics’


4-5:30: Stephan Krämer (Hamburg): ‘State-space semantics for state-space mereology’

Tuesday 11th December:

[9-9:30 coffee]

9:30-11: Stewart Shapiro (Ohio State): ‘Plurals, groups, and paradox’

11:15-12:45 Mary Leng (York): tba

2:15-3:45: Alan Weir: ‘A Mereological Theory of Properties and Relations’

4-5:30: Alex Miller (Otago, via video-link): ‘What is the Sceptical Solution?’

Wednesday 12th December:

[9-9:30 coffee]

9:30-11: Elia Zardini (Lisbon): ‘Against the World’

11:15-12:45: Marianna Antonutti Marfori (Munich): tba


2:15-3:45: James Levine (Trinity College Dublin): ‘On Quine’s Naturalism?’

4-5:30: John Divers (Leeds): ‘Metaphysical Modality and Objective Probability’

Updates will be posted at the website:

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Analysis Trust, the Aristotelian Society, the Mind Association, the Scots Philosophical Association, and theSchool of Humanities, University of Glasgow.

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OPEN-Scotland Launch Event, 11 January, Edinburgh

OPEN-Scotland is pleased to invite you to the network’s Launch Event on:

*Friday 11th January 2019 from 6pm*

OPEN-Scotland is an Online Philosophy and Education Network for Scotland, providing networking opportunities, resources, and an online community for anyone interested in teaching and promoting philosophy in Scottish schools and communities. The Launch Event is our first opportunity to bring people together to meet, make connections, share resources and experiences, and shape the future of the network.

Featuring: Representatives from Education Scotland, University of Edinburgh, Strathclyde University, University of Glasgow, University of St Andrews, SAPERE, The Philosophy Foundation, Wonder Ponder, the Public Philosophy Network, The Philosopher: a pubilc philosophy journal, and much more!

The event will include talks, stalls, interactive activities, and a virtual tour of the new online home for the network: Drinks and refreshments will be served.

The Launch Event will take place at the University of Edinburgh:

Teviot Row House, 13 Bristo Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9AJ

The event (just like the network) is FREE and OPEN to all but registration is required. Register here!

We look forward to welcoming you on the night!

Lani Watson

(on behalf of the team)

OPEN-Scotland is hosted by the University of Edinburgh with generous support from the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, the School of Philosophy, Psychology, and Language Sciences, and the EIDYN Research centre. For more information contact the OPEN-Scotland team via



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KBNS Network Workshop; 17 and 18 December, Stirling

Dear all,


The second KBNS Network Workshop will take place next month, 17th and 18th of December, at the Stirling Court Hotel, University of Stirling .


A draft programme (to be updated soon with titles and abstracts) is available here:


For delegates other than project members/speakers:

Please let us know by email if you are planning to attend (to: There is no registration fee, and teas/coffees during the Workshop are provided.

You are welcome to join us for meals during the Workshop – lunches, and the Workshop Dinner on Monday 17th – but these have to be booked in advance: details and costs are given below. (Email to:


Meal costs:
– Two course lunch, 17th: £13.5

– Conference dinner, 17th: £25

– Two course lunch, 18th: £13.5

Vegetarian options are standard.


Thank you very much!


Sonia Roca-Royes

KBNS project co-leader

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SPA AGM and Conference, Aberdeen 6 – 7 December

Dear SPA members,

Please see below for further information about our upcoming AGM and Conference at Aberdeen, 6 – 7 December.  Hope to see you there!



Annual Meeting of the Scots Philosophical Society 6 – 7 December 2018, Aberdeen

6 December: Meeting Room 1, 7th Floor, Sir Duncan Library

12:30 pm – 1:30 pm: Coffee, Meet & Greet

1:30 pm – 3:00 pm: SPA Business Meeting (SPA members only)

3:00 pm – 4:30 pm: Alessandra Tanesini (Cardiff University)

“Sensibilities, Thinking Styles and Character Traits: On the Heterogeneity of Intellectual Vices”

4:30 pm – 5:00 pm: Coffee

5.00 pm – 6:30 pm: Stephan Torre & Clas Weber (University of Aberdeen & University of Western Australia)

“De Se Puzzles and Frege Puzzles”

7.30 pm


7 December: Meeting Room 1, 7th Floor, Sir Duncan Library

9:30 am – 11:00 am: Ian Kidd (University of Nottingham)

“Pathophobia: Illness, Vices, and Social Oppression”

11:00 am – 11.30 am: Coffee

VC Suite, University Office Building:

11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Havi Carel [via Skype] (Bristol University)

“Phenomenology of Illness”

1.30 pm – 2.30 pm


SPA AGM Information 2018

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Kant’s Scots; Edinburgh, 3rd Nov

Kant’s Scots

Bi-annual workshop on Kant’s philosophy

Friday 3rd November 2018

Room 4.01, Dugald Stewart Building, 3 Charles Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9AD




Dr. Anastasia N. Artemyev Berg (Cambridge)

Kant’s Feeling of Moral Respect as Practical Self-Consciousness


Lorenzo Spagnesi (Edinburgh)

Reason as “the touchstone of truth”. A perspectival interpretation of the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialecti


Prof. Jens Timmermann (St Andrews)

Kant against the Right to Lie: The Central Argument


Dr. Antonino Falduto (St Andrews)

The People’s Right to a Revolution: Kant, Fichte, Erhard

No registration necessary

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Scots Philosophical Association and the Edinburgh Philosophy Department.

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SPA AGM and Conference; Aberdeen, December 6/7 2018

Dear All,

I wanted to share a few details about the upcoming SPA Annual General Meeting and Conference, held at Aberdeen on Thursday/Friday 6 and 7 December, 2018.  I’ll be sending more information in due course, but please mark your calendars, and hope to see you there.



Annual General Meeting of the Scots Philosophical Association                     

 6 – 7 December, Aberdeen

 6 December

1 – 1.30           Coffee, Meet & Greet

1.30 – 3.00      SPA Business Meeting (SPA members only)

 3 – 4.30           Alessandra Tanesini, Cardiff

 4.30 – 5           Coffee

 5 – 6.30           Stephan Torre, Aberdeen

 7.00                 Dinner

7 December

 9.30 – 11 am   Havi Carel, Bristol (via Skype)

 11 – 11.30       Coffee

 11.30 – 1 pm   Ian Kidd, Nottingham

 1 – 2 pm          Lunch

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Environmental Ethics and Value in the Age of Exoplanets; St Andrews, 6 October

Environmental Ethics and Value in the Age of Exoplanets
An interdisciplinary workshop. 6 October 2018.

We will be working toward the production of an output: an essay that (1) lays out the central problems of environmental ethics relating to space science and exploration and (2) outlines how people from different disciplines can work together on answering them.

Free to attend

Location: Senate Room, St. Mary's College, University of St. Andrews

9:00 – 9:05 -- Introduction
9:05 – 9:55 – Session 1 – Jacob Haqq-Misra (Blue Marble Space Institute of Science), "Value Theory"
9:55 – 10:45 – Session 2 – Charles Cockell (University of Edinburgh), "Exoplanets and Environmental Ethics"
11:05 – 11:55 – Session 3 – Ash Watkins (University of St. Andrews), "Asteroid Mining"
11:55 – 12:45 – Session 4 – Ben Sachs (University of St. Andrews), “Contaminating Other Planets”
1:00 – 2:00 – Lunch
2:15—3:05 – Session 5 – Natalya Zavina-James (University of St. Andrews), "The 21st Century Space Race: Evaluating the risk and potential of private space exploration"
3:05—3:55 – Session 6 – Tony Milligan (King's College London), “Fairness and Appropriation: The Case of the Martian Lava Tubes”
4:15 – 5:05 – Session 7 – Tim Mulgan (University of Auckland/University of St. Andrews), "Human and Alien Lives"
5:05 – 5:55 – Session 8 – Jacob Haqq-Misra, Synthesis and "How Can We Communicate Across Disciplines?"

To register, email the organiser, Ben Sachs (  Please note that this will be a *no distractions* workshop.  Everyone in attendance will be expected to give their undivided attention to the workshop proceedings except of course during breaks, so that means no texting, checking email or social media accounts, etc.

With gratefully acknowledged support from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
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Themes from Alan Weir; Glasgow; 10 – 12 December

A workshop Themes from Alan Weir will take place at Philosophy, 69 Oakfield Avenue, University of Glasgow, Monday 10 – Wednesday 12 December 2018.




John Divers (University of Leeds)

Mary Leng (University of York)

James Levine (Trinity College, Dublin

Fiona Macpherson (University of Glasgow)

Marianna Antonutti Marfori (University of Munich)

Alex Miller (University of Otago)

Stewart Shapiro (Ohio State University)

Alan Weir (University of Glasgow)

Timothy Williamson (University of Oxford)

Elia Zardini (University of Lisbon)


Organized by Stephan Leuenberger and Adam Rieger

More details at


Attendance is free but please contact if intending to come.


We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Scots Philosophical Association, the Mind Association, and the School of Humanities, University of Glasgow.

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Public lecture; Stirling; Sept. 20

Whatever we Know, there is More: the Cyborg Enhancement of Human Experience


Public Lecture by Liviu Babitz (CEO, Cyborg Nest


Sponsored by the Royal Institute of Philosophy


When: 17.45 – 19.15, Thursday September 20th

Where: Pathfoot Lecture Theatre, University of Stirling


What would it be like to have an extra sense for experiencing the world, something in addition to the usual biological endowment of sight, hearing, touch, smell and taste? And what would it be like to have a piece of intelligently designed technology physically, permanently and intimately anchored to your body that gave you that extra sense? How would that change the way you encounter, remember and think about reality? Liviu Babitz can tell you, because, for well over a year now, he has been a real, living cyborg, a technologically enhanced human being. Liviu’s sensory capacities have been augmented by the North Sense, an artificial exo-sense that is fixed onto the upper part of his chest, and that enables him to sense – to experience, not merely to detect – the magnetic field of the planet, and thus to perceive directly where north is.

Beyond any practical advantages such technological augmentation may bring (knowing where north is has been historically significant for human beings across cultures, and some other animals have an evolved, organic north sense), Liviu’s goal, and the goal of his fellow digital pioneers and transhumanists at the company he co-founded, Cyborg Nest, is to change the way we perceive reality. In this public lecture, Liviu will discuss the North Sense and his experience of living with it as part of him, in the context of a broader set of opportunities and concerns associated with our increasingly intimate and powerful couplings with progressively more sophisticated and intelligent technology. To explore these issues, Liviu will be joined by Professor Michael Wheeler (Philosophy, University of Stirling) and Dr Alisa Mandrigin (Anniversary Research Fellow in Psychology and Philosophy, University of Stirling). Everyone is welcome and there will be time to ask questions and join in the discussion. So come along and glimpse our species’ future.


This event is free, but if you are intending to come along, it would be helpful if you would register using the following link. This is to assist us with the planning. Thank you.