News in Brief – October 2021

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Philosophy News Digest

Featured News

Ruth First in the North

The Ruth First project

 Claire Anscomb

Welcome to Claire Anscomb, British Society of Aesthetics Postdoctoral Fellow 

Meaning in Life and the Knowledge of Death

Royal Institute of Philosophy Annual Conference on “Meaning in Life and the Knowledge of Death” took place at the University of Liverpool. You can listen to Daniel Hill’s ‘God, the Meaning of Life, and Meaningful Lives’ here.

Simon Hailwood

We celebrated Simon Hailwood’s 60th birthday! Tributes from Friends and Colleagues 

Other News

Michael Hauskeller was interviewed by Annika Loebig about death and democratising meaning for Philosophy Now.  He also won first prize in the ‘Research in Verse’ competition, with his ‘Digging for Truffles’.

Vid Simoniti has a podcast series “Art Against the World”, which explores ways in which contemporary art is socially relevant

Rachael Wiseman presented a paper, ‘Metaphysics by Analogy’ at the Welsh Wittgenstein Society conference.

Laura Gow presented her paper 'Empty Space, Silence and Absence' at the University of Luxembourg as part of their departmental colloquium, and at the seminar series 'Experiences' at the University of Liège. In June, she was a guest at Angela Mendelovici's Graduate class on Mental Representation at Western University, Canada. The class discussed her paper, ‘Beyond Adverbialism: A new non-relational theory of perceptual experience’, forthcoming in Mind & Language. She also gave a talk at a Perception conference at Shandong University, China. (All virtually of course!)

Barry Dainton and Yasushi Hirai (of the Project Bergson in Japan) hosted a workshop on Time, Freedom, and Creativity: Bergsonian Perspectives. The workshop was originally scheduled to take place in Liverpool’s London building in Spring 2020 but was delayed by the pandemic, and was held virtually.

In September, Lizzy Ventham spoke about ‘Affective Empathy, its Limits, and its Success Conditions’ at Dortmund’s Empathy and its Limits conference.

Vid Simoniti spoke about satire and the benefits of mocking virtue at the British Society of Aesthetics conference.

Stephen McLeod presenting his “Virtues and Vices for Groups” at the MANCEPT conference, 'The Normative Profile of Collective Agents',

Upcoming Events

Ruth First in The North: Understanding Activist Research’. A conference to celebrate the life and work of anti-apartheid martyr Ruth First, co-organised by Katherine Furham. The conference is at St. Chad’s College Durham and also online. Contact Katherine for more information.

Our Semester 1 Stapledon seminar programme is now online. We have a mix of online and ‘real life’ speakers, beginning in week 2 with Deborah Casewell, University of Bonn, speaking on ‘Simone Weil's Ethics - An Honest Ascetic Ideal?’. Join her, and us, in the School of the Arts library, 3pm, Thursday 7 October. 

Rachael Wiseman’s ‘Notes from a Biscuit Tin’, poetry and philosophy project, will be at the Durham Book Festival on 17 October. Join Clare Mac Cumhaill in conversation with Kayo Chingonyi



Minding the Future, co-edited by Barry Dainton, Will Slocombe and Attila Tanyi, is an anthology devoted to the way artificial intelligence has been treated in science fiction. It features chapters by Michael Hauskeller and Stephen Clark.

Barry Dainton has been on a Bergson publishing frenzy! His translation of Elie During and Paul-Antoine Miquel’s ‘Nous, Bergsoniens: Manifeste de Kyoto’ was published last year. More recently, his ‘Bergson and the Heptapods’ appeared in the Bergsoniana. Later this year look out for ‘Unity, Irreducibility and Interpenetration’ in The Bergsonian Mind, eds M. Sinclair and Y. Wolf (Routledge) and ‘French Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition’ in The Oxford Handbook of Modern French Philosophy, eds. M. Sinclair and D. Whistler (OUP).

Laura Gow and Rachael Wiseman both have chapters in Logue and Richardson (eds) Purpose and Procedure in Philosophy of Perception. Laura writes on ‘Perceptual Experience and Physicalism’ and Rachael has co-authored (with Clare Mac Cumhaill) ‘Sensation and the Grammar of Life’. Laura also has a paper in Inquiry: ‘Intentionality as Intentional Inexistence’. 

Michael Hauskeller published three essays in Daily Philosophy. His book, The Meaning of Life and Death, has just been published in Korean.

Clare Anscomb’s ‘Creative Agency as Executive Agency: Grounding the Artistic Significance of Automatic Images’ is out now in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

Stephen McLeod, Daniel Hill and Attila Tanyi discussed ‘Entrapment and “Paedophile Hunters"’ in Public Ethics. Their ‘Entrapment’, forthcoming in Elgar Encyclopedia of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice, can now be previewed online. And listen to their Joint Session paper, ‘Entrapment, Temptation and Virtue Testing'.

Thinking – a philosophical history, edited by Daniel Whistle and Panayiota Vassilopoulou is out with Routledge. The collection includes papers by Yiota and Stephen Clark.

Stephen Clark has chapters in a number of other collections. His ‘Discerning the Spirits: Healing and the Moral Problems of Efficacy’ is in Coakley (ed.), Spiritual Healing: Science, Meaning, and Discernment; ‘Souls, Stars and Shadows’ appears in Flavel and Russell (eds), Differences in Identity in Philosophy and Religion: a cross-cultural approach; ‘Multiplicity in Earth and Heaven’ is in Hampton and Kenney (eds), Christian Platonism: a history; and finally ‘Anarchism against Anarchy: the Classical Roots of Anarchism’ is in Chartier and Schoelandt’s Routledge Handbook of Anarcy and Anarchist Thought. Stepen has also recently published two books: Can We Believe in People: human significance in an interconnected cosmos (Angelico Press: New Hampshire 2020) and Plotinus: Ennead VI.9, on the Good or the One: translation and commentary (Parmenides Press, 2020).