Christopher Thomas received a Santander Mobility Award 2015 which allowed him to travel to New York University to discuss his current work as part of the Equalities of Wellbeing research project.
Christopher Thomas attended the Spinoza research seminar Collegium Spinozanum at the University of Groningen (7-10th July)
Christopher Thomas recently traveled to Chicago to deliver a paper at the Newberry Centre for Renaissance Studies 2016 Multidisciplinary Graduate Student Conference. He received a ‘Newberry Renaissance Consortium Grant 2015’ which funded the trip.
The paper given was entitled: From Complex Bodies to a Theory of Art: Spinoza on Artistic Bodies
Christopher Thomas presented the most recent work of his research project at the joint Society for European Philosophy and Forum for European Philosophy conference at the University of Dundee.
The paper given was entitled: The Creative Act: Towards a Spinozian Theory of Art.
Beth Lord’s paper on Spinoza’s concept of equality in the Theological-Political Treatise has now been published “online first” in Epoche: A Journal for the History of Philosophy. The print version will be published this spring.
The article can be accessed here (only to those with a personal or institutional subscription to Epoche).
Abstract: Spinoza recognizes that in a democracy, ideals of freedom and equality shape our thoughts about ourselves as human beings. This paper examines Spinoza’s concept of equality in the Theological-Political Treatise, and considers its complexities and ambiguities in light of his theories of freedom and democracy there and in the Ethics. Because Spinoza takes human beings to have unequal power, he does not believe we are naturally or intrinsically equal. Nor does he think equality is good in itself. Equality is good to the extent that it promotes human flourishing. The kind of equality Spinoza endorses is economic equality, which encourages human beings to become more powerful, virtuous, and free. I demonstrate this with reference to Spinoza’s discussion of the state of nature, democracy, and the Hebrew state in the Theological-Political Treatise and his remarks on charity, economic exchange, and their associated affects in the Ethics.
Peg Rawes’ research on Spinoza’s “humane ratios” for the Equalities of Wellbeing project got a mention in this article in Times Higher Education (Oct. 18, 2015) “Resilient ideas from the past offer powerful tools for today”.