Fourth Philosophy Conference Focuses on 18th Century Philosophers

Lehigh’s Annual Conference in Philosophy will take place on Thursday, October 27, and Friday, October 28, in Linderman Library. The theme for this year’s conference is “19th Century Philosophy: 1781-1905.”
At the fourth annual conference, Lehigh will host 26 scholars from 22 universities across the U.S., as well as two philosophers traveling from colleges overseas. The conference is organized and hosted by Lehigh’s department of philosophy.
The conference theme reflects the strong emphasis in the philosophy department on the history of philosophy, said Robin S. Dillon, chairperson of the department.
“The 19th century is a major part of the history of philosophy,” said Dillon, who is also the William Wilson Selfridge Professor of Philosophy. “The philosophical work done during this period is important not only in its own right, but also because of its influence on contemporary philosophy.”
While previously often ignored by later philosophers, said Dillon, contemporary thinkers now view 19th century philosophy as delivering important insights for overcoming recent divides in philosophy.
Two members of the philosophy department will present papers at the conference. Professor John Martin Gillroy will talk about Georg Hegel’s political theory and authority beyond the state. Visiting Research Writing Fellow Filippo Casati will give a presentation on Alexius Meinong. Faculty members from Lehigh’s philosophy department will participate in the conference as session chairs and discussants with the visiting scholars.
Conference presentations will address the themes of truth, logic, morality, political authority, art, free will, spirit, theodicy, racism, skepticism, death, alienation, optimism and love. The program will also include discussions of Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, John Stuart Mill, Ludwig Feuerbach, Henri Bergson, Charles Sanders Peirce, Johann Gottfried Herder, Arthur Schopenhauer and Henri Poincaré.
Lydia Moland from Colby College, and Jacob Howland from the University of Tulsa will be the conference’s keynote speakers.
The event runs from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Thursday, and from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Friday. It is open to the public, and registration is not required.
The annual conference is made possible by the generosity of an anonymous Lehigh alumnus.
Story by Henry Greenberg ’17