Call for Papers: Baumgarten Conference

Alexander Baumgarten's Metaphysics:
Sources, Interpretation and Influence

March 27-29, 2014
La Salle University
Philadelphia, PA

Three-hundred years after the birth of Alexander Baumgarten, La Salle University is hosting a conference devoted to his influential Metaphysica. In addition to being the scientific foundation for all of Baumgarten’s other writings, the Metaphysica is arguably the single most important textbook on the topic published in the German tradition prior to Immanuel Kant. It provides by far the richest, clearest, most concise and most systematic presentation of a complete metaphysical system of the kind envisioned by Leibniz and Wolff. It went through seven Latin and two German editions over a span of twenty-seven years during which it provided the model of philosophical instruction for thinkers such as Mendelssohn, Abbt, Kant, Herder, Eberhard and Maimon. In particular, it formed the basis of Kant’s lectures on metaphysics, anthropology and religion over four decades. Now, for the first time, it is available to scholars in both German (holzboog-frommann, 2011) and English (Bloomsbury, 2013).

Confirmed Speakers:
Henry Allison (UCSD)
Paul Guyer (Brown University)
Gary Hatfield (University of Pennsylvania)
Desmond Hogan (Princeton University)
We invite abstracts of 500-600 words for papers focusing on the Metaphysica. Possible topics include: its sources in such philosophers as Leibniz and Wolff; comparisons with other early modern philosophers such as Descartes or Spinoza; interpretations of the work’s central ideas; its relation to Baumgarten's aesthetics or moral philosophy; its relation to later thinkers such as Mendelssohn, Kant, Herder, or Maimon.

The best graduate student submission will receive a $200 travel stipend, courtesy of the North American Kant Society.

Please send abstracts prepared for blind review to by 1 August 2013 for full consideration. All papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited volume now in preparation.

Organization and selection committee:
Courtney D. Fugate (AUB), John Hymers (La Salle University) and Chris Johns (AUB).

Funding for this conference has been provided by the Greater Philadelphia Philosophical Consortium, La Salle University, the North American Kant Society and the American University of Beirut.