Monthly Archives: July 2017

Undergraduates! Publish your Philosophy!

Calling for Undergraduate Philosophy Submissions for the Vassar College Journal of Philosophy

We are entering our 5th year of Vassar’s undergraduate-run philosophy journal and we’re excited to announce the theme for next year is BORDERS. Please forward to undergraduate philosophy (or philosophically inclined) departments and students.

Submission Guidelines

Format: 12 point Times New Roman font, 5000 word maximum for the Paper, 100 word maximum for the Abstract. There is no minimum word count, provided that the topic of the paper is suitably addressed. Papers should not include your name or other identifying information. Please provide your paper title, name, email, and major in a separate attachment.

Citation Format: Chicago Citation Style. 500-word maximum.

Topic: The theme for our upcoming issue is “Borders” Any philosophical treatment of this theme is welcome.

Deadline: All materials must be submitted via email to no later than October 20, 2017.

For a pdf version of the Call for Papers or access to the most recent issue of the Journal, please enquire at

September 14th – Canguilhem and Simondon & September 15th Philosophical Anthropology

September 14th-15th, workshops on Canguilhem-Simondon and Philosophical Anthropology, Durham and Newcastle Universities

Two events may be of interest, running on consecutive days in Durham and Newcastle.

1) Sept 14th, Durham University, Centre for Cultural Ecologies, Canguilhem-Simondon: Epistemology and Ontology of the Milieu

To date, the intellectual legacies of Georges Canguilhem (1904-1995) and Gilbert Simondon (1925-1989) have largely been recognised through their impact on others, with Canguilhem known as an influence on Michel Foucault and Simondon influencing Gilles Deleuze and, latterly, Bruno Latour and Bernard Stiegler. With the shift of research in continental philosophy towards biology, technology and the medical humanities, plus the importance of their concept of ‘milieu’ to the environmental sciences, both are now increasingly seen as major philosophers in their own right. It is this concept of milieu that links Canguilhem and Simondon together. The former defined health and pathology in terms of the ability to withstand environmental perturbation, or ‘inconsistencies in the milieu’, and ultimately saw knowledge and technology as extensions of the norms through which biological organisms create their own environment. The latter sought to update the work of his supervisor to account for the constitutive role of technical environments (‘associated milieus’) in the ‘individuation’, or ontogenesis, of the tool-user, which led in turn to a fundamental revision of Marx’s theory of alienation. This workshop will provide a forum for discussing all aspects of the work of Canguilhem and Simondon, taken both in their own right and in relation to others. Discussions will start with the milieu, but range beyond it to broach topics including epistemology and ontology; pathology and disindividuation; biological and technical normativity; science and work, among others.
Confirmed speakers include: Andrea Bardin (Brunel)—Stuart Elden (Warwick)—Anaïs Nony (Florida State)—Mauro Senatore (Durham)

There are still a couple of spaces available to give a paper. For further information, or to register your participation (free of charge), email

2) Sept 15th, Newcastle University, Philosophy
Philosophical Anthropology and Contemporary Continental Philosophy

What is the relation between the empirical species, homo sapiens and the symbolic cultural institutions and structures to which it must accommodate itself in order to become fully ‘human’? How are we to understand the transition between the ‘human animal’ and the transcendental subject, ‘Dasein’, or however we choose to describe the human being’s philosophical double? What sort of natural character must the human animal possess if it is to be capable of the role that philosophy has assigned it? And what effects if any should this natural character have on this role and on the political and institutional arrangements which we ultimately advocate?

With the turn of continental philosophy towards the natural sciences, including, in particular, evolutionary theory and biology, and the increasingly theoretical inclinations of Cultural Anthropology, it seems that a reconsideration of the idea of a ‘philosophical anthropology’ might prove to be fruitful in indicating a way out of certain of the impasses of contemporary thought.

This workshop attempts a preliminary gathering together of perspectives on the question of man in contemporary continental philosophy with a view to clarifying the problem and identifying possible solutions. Figures to be addressed include Martin Heidegger, Gilbert Simondon, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, Catherine Malabou, Bernard Stiegler, and Paolo Virno.

Confirmed speakers for that event are Anne Alombert (Nanterre); Lorenzo Chiesa (Genoa School of Humanities/European University at St. Petersburg); Elizabeth Cykowski (Oxford); Michael Lewis (Newcastle); Nina Power (Roehampton). For information and (free) registration, email or

Workshop on Philosophical Anthropology and Contemporary Continental Philosophy

Event on Lars Iyer’s Novels

A Message from Lars Iyer:

William Large and I will be discussing the Spurious trilogy (among other things) at the Cumberland pub in Byker ( ), Newcastle on Thurs 6th July at 9PM. We’ll be in the upstairs function room (free entry). The discussion is part of the Shared Futures conference held here in the School of English ( ). An abstract for our discussion follows below.

We’ll be in town having a bite to eat beforehand at Dat Bar ( ). Do join us from 7.00 or so and we can travel together to the Cumberland.

Abstract: The Humour of Failure: Laughing at the Achievement Society

What does failure mean? Are you a failure? Do you find it difficult to remain upbeat and engaged? Does your capacity to hope seem merely a mocking reminder of your powerlessness?

In our world, what matters is success. We live in an achievement society, governed by a pressure to achieve and a stifling positivity. We are supposed to be entrepreneurs of ourselves – individual micro-enterprises, constantly networking and optimising skills. But this means burn-out and depression are never far away.

In this discussion, Lars Iyer and William Large, aka the fictional characters Lars and W. of Lars Iyer’s Spurious trilogy (Melville House, 2011-13), consider how humour might permit a tactics of withdrawal from contemporary opportunism and cynicism.