Skip to main content



Talks and other events

 FridayFeb 16, 3:30 – 5 pm, Clark 214, Tyke Nunez (Wash U)

Title: Logical Mistakes, Logical Aliens, and the Laws of Kant's Pure General Logic

Abstract: There are two ways interpreters have tended to understand the nature of the laws of Kant's pure general logic. On the first, these laws are unconditional norms for how we ought to think, and will govern anything that counts as thinking. On the second, these laws are criteria for being a thought, and violating them makes a putative thought not a thought. These traditions are in tension insofar as the first depends on the possibility of thoughts that violate these laws, and the second makes violation impossible. In this essay I develop an interpretation of Kant's pure general logic that overcomes this tension. It both accounts for the possibility of logical mistakes, as the first tradition does, while still ruling out logical aliens as an intelligible possibility, as the second tradition does.


Friday, March 24 - St. Louis Annual Philosophy of Science Assocation (SLAPSA) X Meeting

See flyer for details.


Friday, April 13, 3:30 – 5 pm, Clark 214, Jonathan Kvanvig (Wash U)



Friday, April 27, 3:30 – 5 pm, Clark 214, Paola Ferruta (Paris-Sorbonne U)

Title: Secularism and Secular Judaism in Trieste: Beginnings and Historical Context (18th – 19th Century)

Abstract: The paper explores the historical preconditions and beginnings of secular traditions, in particular secular Judaism, in Trieste at the end of the 18th and in the 19th century. It is a question of identifying when and why secularism developed as a cultural and religious trend and how different forms of secularism took shape in Trieste during the period considered. Secularism was facilitated in Trieste by the lack of influence of the episcopate. Limiting the ecclesiastical power was a political choice: the Habsburgs aimed at favouring religious and confessional pluralism and thus the expansion of the various religious communities in the port of the Austrian Empire. The episcopal seat remained vacant for relatively long periods and this is also an expression of this political program. The paper focuses on multiple conversions, on the return to the religion of the fathers – first abandoned, on the even sporadic explorations of “other” religions by Jews and by believers of different confessions. Is secularism in some way related to the waves of baptisms to Christianity, increased since 1782, and to returns to Judaism after 1868? The thesis of this paper is that the many transitions from one religion to another, a phenomenon that in Trieste not only touched Judaism, but also the numerous religious confessions present in the city, are a symptom of the detachment from the community, from the sense of belonging to it, and a clear sign that religion became a personal choice, a “heretical imperative”. That came about in the 1840s and women had a fundamental role in this changed attitude towards religion, they feminized secularism more than religion. Such dynamic is interrelated to the general detachment from religion that characterized Trieste during the 19th century. This thesis is linked to David N. Meyer’s latest publications: following Talal Asad, he confirms that secularism and religion are inextricably linked. Moreover, since the 18th century, the haskalah – and later criticism about it, at least since the 1820s, have contributed to shaping Jewish secularism in Trieste. It was a gendered phenomenon: men permeated these new intellectual and religious interests in the Jewish world. 

If you would like to receive occasional messages about upcoming Department events, please notify

Events at Washington University
Events at Saint Louis University
Local philosophy events on Facebook
St. Louis Philosophy Google Calendar