Friday, May 4, 2012

Skepticism and Politics

A couple of days ago, I received information about the upcoming conference "Skepticism and Politics in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries," which will take place at the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library in LA, on May 11-12. The conference is organized by Gianni Paganini (University of Piedmont) and John Christian Laursen, (University of California, Riverside).

This conference starts from the point that much of our thinking in both philosophy and politics today is an inheritance from the encounters by major philosophers such as Hobbes, Descartes, Hume, Smith, and Kant with the skeptical traditions. Their work, in turn, influenced a host of minor figures such as the libertines of the seventeenth century and the political activists of the time of the French Revolution. The skeptical foundations of Hobbesian political philosophy, Cartesianism, and the clandestine writers of the seventeenth century fed into the Humean empiricism, Smithian cosmopolitanism, and Kantian political idealism of the Enlightenment. Along the way, literature and historical writing tried to make sense of the implications of skepticism for political life. All put together, we will try to bring out the political implications of philosophical skepticism in the early modern period as the foundation for understanding its continuing political implications today. 

Registration Deadline: May 8, 2012. Registration Fees: $20 per person; UC faculty & staff, students with ID: no charge.

All students, UC faculty and staff may register via e-mail by sending their name, affiliation and phone number to c1718cs@humnet.ucla.

The registration form as well as the program can be found here.


  1. I thought I'd recommend a book for anyone interested in this topic.

  2. Thanks for the link, Roger.