Past Conferences and Events





February 12-14, 2014: Walter Benjamin as Philosopher

A conference at the University of Chicago dedicated to the publication of Eli Friedlander’s book, Walter Benjamin: A Philosophical Portrait. Visit the conference website.

February 21-23:  Kant / Sellars

A conference at the University of Chicago dedicated to Kantian and Sellarsian themes. Visit the conference website.


“Norms of Freedom in Kant and Hegel” is a conference to be hosted by the University of Illinois at Chicago on April 12-13. If you happen to be nearby and would like to participate, check out the program.


September 9, 2011 – Robert Pippin at Loyola

At 4:10pm, Robert Pippin will present his paper “After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Visual Modernism” at a graduate student conference at Loyola University (Lake Shore campus). The talk will be held on the 4th floor of the Richard J. Klarchek Information Commons. For more information about the conference, click here.

September 24, 2011 – In Honor of W.D. Hart

On September 24th, there will be a conference in honor of W.D. Hart at the University of Illinois, Chicago. The speakers will be Michael Friedman (Stanford), Charles Parsons (Harvard), and Matthew Moore (Brooklyn). For more information, visit the conference website:

September 25, 2011 – Kant’s Philosophy of Mathematics

On September 25th there will be a workshop on Kant’s philosophy of mathematics at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Discussion will focus on three papers: one by Daniel Sutherland on ordinals and cardinals, one by Michael Friedman on spatial intuition, and a postscript by Charles Parsons (forthcoming in a collection of essays). All papers should be read in advance. They are available from Daniel Sutherland (email: ) and will be posted shortly here.
For more information, read the conference announcement.

September 30, 2011 – Frederick Neuhouser at DePaul

Frederick Neuhouser will deliver his paper “Hegel on Life, Freedom, and Social Pathology” at 4:00pm at DePaul University in the John T. Richardson Library at 2352 N. Kenmore Avenue in the Dorothy Day Room, 400.

November 3-6, 2011 – The Atkins Goethe Conference at UIC

The conference “Metamorphoses: Goethe and Change” will be held at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Keynote speakers include Dieter Borchmeyer, David Wellbery, and Martin Walser. For more information, click here.

February 10, 2011 – Aesthetics and German Philosophy Conference

Sponsored By: The American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation
Student Center East
750 S. Halsted Street (just south of Harrison)
Room 302, 3rd Floor Conference Tower
University of Illinois at Chicago

9:15 Coffee, pastries
9:45 – 11:00 Prof. Robert Pippin, University of Chicago
“After the Beautiful: Hegel and the Philosophy of Visual Modernism”
Robert English (UIC), Chair
11:15 – 12:30 Prof. David Wellbery, University of Chicago
“Endogenous Form”
Marcus Lampert (U of C), Chair
Lunch break
2:15 – 3:30 Prof. Karl Ameriks, University of Notre Dame
“On the Extension of Kant’s Elliptical Turn in Hölderlin and Novalis”
Babak Bakhtiarynia (Notre Dame), Chair
3:45 – 5:00 Prof. Elizabeth Millán, DePaul University
“Aesthetics and the Opening of the European Mind:
Alexander von Humboldt’s Views of America”
Dilek Huseyinzadegan (DePaul), Chair

Parking information and directions to Student Center East:
For more information, contact Sally Sedgwick:


April 5 – Christoph Menke at Northwestern University

“The ‘Different Form’ of Domination: Towards a Critique of the Social Critique of Law”
Thursday, April 5, 5 p.m.
Ripton Room, Scott 201
Northwestern University
Reception will follow.

April 6 – Christoph Menke – Seminar on his work

Prof. Menke will hold a graduate seminar on his books The Sovereignty of Art and Reflections on Equality at Northwestern University in Kresge 2-345 from 9:30 until noon.





March 18 German Philosophy Conference

This one day conference at Depaul University’s Lincoln Park campus is primarily dedicated to Hegel’s practical philosophy, with special attention to the relation of theory and practice, Hegel’s Auseinandersetzung with Kant, his conception of virtue and the individual, and his theory of action. Presenters include Adriaan Peperzak (Loyola), Mark Alznauer (Northwestern), Chris Yeomans (Purdue), and Sally Sedgwick (UIC). The conference begins at 9am in the Dorothy Day room (room 400) of the DePaul University Library. The schedule is available here. For links to directions and transportation information, see the Events page of the Chicago-Area Consortium for German Philosophy website.

April 2-3 The Philosophy of Anselm Müller

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.
Speakers will include:

Agnes Callard (University of Chicago)
Anton Ford (University of Chicago)
Jennifer Frey (University of Pittsburgh)
Matthias Haase (Universität Basel)
Gavin Lawrence (UCLA)
Anselm Müller (University of Trier)
Michael Thompson (University of Pittsburgh)

For more information, go to
or contact Agnes Callard ( and Jennifer Frey (


April 4th Jens Timmermann

The Committee on Social Thought Colloquium this quarter will be delivered by Jens Timmermann (University of St. Andrews). Prof. Timmermann has published extensively on Kant’s ethics, including a commentary on Kant’s Grundlegung zur Metaphysik der Sitten.
His talk will take place at 4:30pm in Cobb 106.


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.
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 of the work of our eight primary participants. One session will be devoted to each paper. Each session will begin with some opening remarks by the author of the paper immediately followed by an open discussion. Our primary participants will be:

Matt Boyle (Harvard University)
Wolfram Gobsch (Universität Basel)
Boris Hennig (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Anselm Müller (University of Trier)
John McDowell (University of Pittsburgh)
Sasha Newton (Universität Leipzig)
Robert Pippin (University of Chicago)

All sessions will take place in Classics 110. For a map of campus, click here.

Friday, April 15

1:15 – 1:30 Introductory Remarks Jim Conant
1:30 – 3:30 “Kant on the Logical Origin of Concepts”
Sasha Newton (Universität Leipzig)
Chair: Michael Kremer (University of Chicago)
3:30 – 4:00 Coffee Break
4:00 – 6:00 “Material and Formal Goodness in Action”
Anselm Müller (University of Trier)
Chair: Candace Vogler (University of Chicago)

Saturday, April 16

10:00 – 12:00 “The Original Infinitude of Thought”
Wolfram Gobsch (Universität Basel)
Chair: Anton Ford (University of Chicago)
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break
1:00 – 3:00 “Kant’s Hylomorphism”
Matt Boyle (Harvard University)
Chair: Thomas Land (University of Chicago)
3:00 – 3:30 Coffee Break
3:30 – 5:30 “Kant and Sellars on Perceptual Consciousness”
John McDowell (University of Pittsburgh)
Chair: Jim Conant (University of Chicago)
5:30 – Reception

Sunday, April 17

9:30 – 11:30 “Two Kinds of Matter”
Boris Hennig (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin)
Chair: Christopher Frey (University of Chicago)
11:30 – 12:30 Lunch Break
12:30 – 2:30 “Reason’s Form”
Robert Pippin (University of Chicago)
Chair: Matthias Haase (Universität Basel)
2:30 – 2:45 Brief Recess
2:45 – 3:30 Concluding Remarks and Discussion
3:30 Refreshments

For more information and papers, visit:


June 2-4 WITTGENSTEIN and the Ethical, the Literary and the Unsayable

Literary examples surface in Wittgenstein’s writing especially in connection with the intertwined topics of “the ethical” and “the unsayable”. The range of works he singles out as furnishing exemplary expressions of ethical thought is itself quite striking, initially apparently resembling more a motley than a unitary category or form of literary work.
This conference will be concerned to investigate passages in Wittgenstein’s corpus, where he discusses specific works of literature, with an eye to exploring the following three questions: (1) How and to what extent do Wittgenstein’s discussions of them illuminate these particular literary works themselves?, (2) how might a proper understanding of Wittgenstein’s remarks about these works enable us to better understand his philosophy as a whole, and (3) what does Wittgenstein mean when he speaks of “the literary”, “the ethical”, and “the unsayable” and what is his understanding of how these are related?
Primary Participants:

James Conant (University of Chicago)
Michael Fried (Johns Hopkins University)
Martin Gustafsson (Åbo Academy)
Michael Kremer (University of Chicago)
Christoph König (Universität Osnabrück)
Ray Monk (University of Southampton)
Jean-Philippe Narboux (University of Bordeux III)
Joachim Schulte (Universität Zürich)
David Wellbery (University of Chicago)

This conference is jointly sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, the Department of Germanic Studies, and the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on German Literature and Culture.
For more information and papers, visit:
The password to access the papers is: unaussprechlich

August, 2011 & 2012 – THE SECOND PERSON in German and North American Philosophy

James Conant (together with Sebastian Rödl) has been awarded an SIAS grant to run a two-year Summer Institute on the topic of The Second Person in German and North American Philosophy to take place at the National Institute of Humanities at Chapel Hill in August, 2011, and the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin in August, 2012. Applications from participants are currently being solicited. For more information, please click here.

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