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Philosophy Reading Groups

Early Chinese Philosophy Reading Group

This reading group proposes to approach Chinese Philosophy in its own terms, without imposing Western philosophical reference systems on it. Convergences and divergences between the two philosophical traditions will be discussed in a comparative way. It is our goal to create a space of exchange and learning that will enable all to join and get something from it. Therefore, everyone is welcome. No previous knowledge of Chinese thought and language is required, as we will use English translations of the classics. It will however be one of the goals of the reading group to develop an awareness of the particular meaning of certain Chinese terms, so as to not lose too much in translation.

This year we will invite scholars from other institutions to present their research and to discuss general topics in Chinese Philosophy. As a consequence, we will not focus on a single text. Reading material will be circulated before the meetings. For a general introduction to Chinese Philosophy we recommend Karyn Lai’s An introduction to Chinese philosophy (Cambridge University Press, 2008).

Everybody welcome!

Time and location: Alternate Mondays (from week 2) between 3.00pm and 4.30pm on MS Teams

Contact: Max Lacertosa to receive further information.


Women in the History of Philosophy Reading Group

Scholars are becoming increasingly aware of the exclusion of women in the historiography of philosophy. The aim of this group is to read overlooked works by women philosophers in order to (1) help us rethink the questions that motivated and underpinned the development of philosophy, (2) reveal the ways in which philosophy has been practiced in dialogue with, rather than in abstraction from, our daily lives, and (3) unearth the dynamics of power that are often overlooked by those with positional advantage. The group will provide the opportunity to develop a critical relation to the field, and use material sources question philosophy's canon.

Our text for Term 1 will be Amalia Holst's 'On the Vocation of Woman to Higher Intellectual Development' (1802). Holst was a teacher at a progressive school for girls in Hamburg. Her major work defends equal educational opportunities for women, and exposes inequalities that remained unquestioned by the key figures of the German Enlightenment. It has been almost entirely overlooked by philosophers, and will be read in English translation for the first time.

Everyone welcome!

Time and location: Fortnightly on Mondays, first meeting on 11th October. Time tbc.

Term 1 will be held online.

Contact: Andrew Cooper to receive further information.


Wittgenstein Reading Club

Wittgenstein is one of the 20th century's most influential philosophers and the source of many divergent reactions and interpretations. This reading group will focus on a close-reading of Philosophical Investigations in the first term (where appropriate dipping into secondary texts in order to interpret certain sections.) Depending on how far we get in the first term, we will try to read another Wittgenstein text (up to the groups preference). We will be focusing on reading Wittgenstein's philosophy in itself, rather than his relation to other thinkers and disciplines.

We hope to meet weekly, but want to be as flexible as possible. For the first week, we will try to read §§1-45. We suggest the dual language Revised Fourth edition by P. M. S. Hacker and Joachim Schulte, but feel free to use whatever copy is available to you.

Time and location: Fridays (starting 15/10/2021) 1:00-2:30pm, location TBC

Contact: Thomas Williams to receive further information and get the link to participate.


The Moral and Political Philosophy Reading Group

This group will focus on reading key Moral and Political philosophical texts. This year we are reading Hegel's Philosophy of Right published in 1821. This work has been described by Stephen Houlgate as 'one of the greatest works of social and political philosophy ever written.' The book traces the true realization of freedom and free will via Hegel's immanent process of dialectics. Arguably, this book is still pertinent and relevant for our times: not only does it acknowledge that freedom can be enhanced by economic opportunities, but, moreover, it recognizes that unregulated capitalism is a cause of alienation, inequality and poverty.

Everybody welcome!

Time and location: TBC

Contact: Andrew Paull to receive further information and get the link to participate.

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