March 8-10, 2019

Université de Lausanne

“Tolerance, Sociability and Solidarity in Scottish Philosophy.”

Tolerance, Sociability and Solidarity in Scottish Philosophy – 8-10 March 2019

On 8-10 March 2019, the Philosophy Department in Lausanne will host the 2019 spring conference of the Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy ISSP Sioux Falls, (the former Center for the Study of Scottish Philosophy CSSP, Princeton).

Here is the conference poster, and here is the detailed programme. (Please note that last-minute updates and changes might occur!)

Societies are kept together by different kinds of glue. Self-interested factors such as the fear of leaving society, and the awareness of various benefits of living with others may play their roles. Yet there are also other factors, such as forms of natural sociability, benevolence and sympathy, solidarity with other members of society, and tolerance with respect to different opinions and values. Sometimes religion is considered helpful for keeping societies together, sometimes it is presented as the very cause of division. The nature, potential and limits of tolerance, sociability, solidarity and the role of religion were discussed by many philosophers in the Scottish tradition, and in particular in the Scottish Enlightenment. The first conference of the new Institute for the Study of Scottish Philosophy (ISSP), to be held in Lausanne (Switzerland) on 8-10 March 2019, will explore these issues.

Plenary Speakers:
Alexander Broadie, University of Glasgow
Daniel Carey, NUI Galway
Gordon Graham, Princeton Theological Seminary
Jacqueline Taylor, University of San Francisco

Jacopo Agnesina, University of Piemonte Orientale
Michele Bee, University of Lausanne
Sophie Bergont, Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne
Ruth Boeker, University College Dublin
Ross Carroll, University of Exeter
Jeff Edwards, Stony Brook University
Claire Etchegaray, University of Paris Nanterre
Enrico Galvagni, University of Trento
Colin Heydt, University of South Florida
Willem Lemmens, University of Antwerp
John McHugh, Denison University
Justine Roulin, University of Lausanne
Paolo Santori (and Luigino Bruni), University Roma LUMSA
Chris Shrock, Ohio Valley University
Tim Stuart-Buttle, University of York


James Foster, University of Sioux Falls
Christian Maurer, University of Lausanne
Giovanni Gellera, University of Lausanne

Conference Venue: University of Lausanne – Bâtiment Extranef, Rooms 126 (Plenaries) and 118.1 (Parallel sessions)

(Metro stop “UniL-Chamberonne”, see also map)

For information regarding travel and accommodation, visit this page: ISSP 2019 Travel and Accommodation Information.

Previous Events:

March 2018: The Scottish Tradition: Explaining its Rise, Understanding its Legacy.

Program Organizers

James A. Harris (University of St Andrews) and Remy Debes (University of Memphis)

Plenary Speakers
  • Rebecca Copenhaver (Lewis and Clark)
  • Jennifer Keefe (University of Wisconsin, Parkside)
  • Silvia Sebastiani (Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales)

Opinions differ as to the period of time over which a Scottish philosophical tradition can be identified. Some find signs of it as early as Duns Scotus (1266?-1308) and as late as John Macmurray (1891-1976). Others regard the period of the Scottish Enlightenment as key, locating the tradition’s origins in Francis Hutcheson (1694-1746), its culmination in Sir William Hamilton (1788-1856), and seeing its demise with the rise of the Scottish Idealists led by Edward Caird (1835-1908). Whichever period we focus on, however, its rise and its significance provide further occasions for debate and disagreement. Is the Scottish tradition distinctive in terms of topics and/or philosophical doctrines? Or can it be subsumed without significant loss within the broader category of British moral philosophy? Does it have special strengths in its choice of philosophical method, or is it merely a version of empiricism? Is Hume a key player or an outsider? Is Reid’s ‘common sense’ at the core of it all, or merely one phase in its history? Are the Scottish Idealists to be included or excluded from the tradition? Is there continuing value in identifying a ‘Scottish philosophical tradition’, or is it an ex post facto invention born of nostalgia?

May 2017: Hume’s Dialogues: a Symposium

David Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion were not published until after his death, probably because of the controversy they were expected to cause. Since their publication there have been deep and wide ranging changes in philosophy, but the Dialogues have retained their ability to generate intense philosophical debate. They remain, arguably, the single most important work ever to be published in the philosophy of religion. The third and final event in the CSSP’s 2016-17 program will be a symposium on the Dialogues.

March 2017: Science in the Scottish Enlightenment

The philosophy of the Scottish Enlightenment was marked by a distinctive ambition – to extend the observational methods of science to the study of the human as well as the physical world. The pursuit of this ambition led to many innovative studies of mind and metaphysics, as well as morality, aesthetics and politics. It also led to an investigation of the methods themselves, and the conception of ‘science’ that underlay them. This conference aims to explore many of these important topics, both philosophically and historically.

Future Events

  • 2020 – Princeton, New Jersey: In collaboration with the Eighteenth Century Scottish Studies Society.
  • 2021 – Tokyo, Japan: In collaboration with the International Christian University and the ISSP Asian Network.
  • 2022 – St Andrews, Scotland: In collaboration with the University of St Andrews.