Past Events

In Search of Zera Yacob (Conference Announcement & Call for Registration)

29 April – 1 May 2022

Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford (hybrid format)

This illustration is taken from an illuminated manuscript of 17th century Ethiopia, depicting the miracles of the archangel Michael.

In Search of Zera Yacob will be the first international and interdisciplinary conference on two remarkable philosophical texts from early modern Ethiopia, the Ḥatäta Zär’a Ya‛ǝqob and the atäta Walda Heywat. These texts have fascinated and puzzled alike on account of their philosophical depth, beauty and apparent historical singularity. They have been called the ‘jewel of Ethiopian literature’, and served to demonstrate, in the words of Claude Sumner, that “modern philosophy, in the sense of a personal rationalistic critical investigation, began in Ethiopia with Zera Yacob at the same time as in England and in France”. 

This conference aims to examine the ideas, language and history of the Ḥatäta Zär’a Ya‛ǝqob by putting scholars from across the world, and across disciplinary boundaries, into dialogue. It aims to stimulate a productive discussion between scholars from philosophy, history, philology, and Ethiopian studies, and to serve as a prolegomenon to broader philosophical study of the Ḥatäta Zär’a Ya‛ǝqob. Contributors to the conference will explore the text’s philosophical arguments and their significance, the historical context of intellectual exchanges in Ethiopia, issues of translation and the forging of philosophical vocabularies, notions of authorship and authenticity in philosophical writing, the legacy of colonialism for Ethiopian studies, and the methodology of a truly global history of philosophy.

One of the guiding threads of the conference is the century-long controversy over the authorship of the Ḥatäta Zär’a Ya‛ǝqob and the Ḥatäta Walda Heywat: do the texts have a genuine 17th century Ethiopian authorship, as asserted in the texts, or was the supposed ‘discoverer’ of the texts, the Capuchin monk Giusto d’Urbino, in fact their secret author? In addition to bringing new research to bear on this debate, we hope that the conference will provide an opportunity to analyse the history and politics of this controversy, from the first scholars who admired and enthusiastically catalogued and edited the texts in the early 20th century, to its rejection by Carlo Conti Rossini, an orientalist, and apologist for the fascist invasion of Ethiopia, and the reassertion of a 17th century authorship by Almeyahu Moges, Amsalu Alkilu and Claude Sumner in the 1970s. We hope also to explore the suggestions of scholars such as Binyam Mekkonen that the atäta Zär’a Ya‛ǝqob, ‘authentic’ or not, can obscure other rich philosophical resources to be found elsewhere in Ethiopian literature. The conference will thus also provide an opportunity to interrogate the often fraught and often ideological underpinnings of these arguments, examining the role of colonial knowledge production in shaping the controversy, and the history of Ethiopian studies at large. Addressing this controversy with an eye to its troubled history is important if the Ḥatäta is to receive the attention it deserves.

Further study of the Ḥatäta Zär’a Ya‛ǝqob might have profound implications for the history and historiography of philosophy in Africa and in a global orientation, for understanding processes of philosophical translation and connected intellectual histories, as well as the history of Ge’ez philology and literature.

Invited speakers:

Dr Teshome Abera (Addis Ababa Science and Technology University)
Prof. Peter Adamson (Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich/King’s College London)
Mr Eyasu Berento (Kotebe Metropolitan University)
Dr Ralph Lee (School of Oriental and African Studies)
Prof. John Marenbon (University of Cambridge)
Mr Binyam Mekonnen (Addis Ababa University)
Dr Fasil Merawi (Addis Ababa University)
Prof. Justin E. H. Smith (University of Paris 7 – Denis Diderot)
Prof. Neelam Srivastava (Newcastle University)
Dr Anaïs Wion (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Speakers selected through the Call for Papers:

Mr Brooh Asmare (Mekelle University)
Dr Anke Graness (University of Hildesheim)
Mr Mauricio Lapchik Minski (Ben Gurion University of the Negev)
Mr Henry Straughan & Mr Michael O’Connor (University of Oxford), joint paper

Call for Registration

To register for the Conference, please follow this link. The conference will be live-streamed from Worcester College; Zoom details for online attendance will be sent to registrees in late April. Health and safety advice means that we are currently unable to guarantee that in-person attendance will be possible for non-speakers, but there will be an opportunity to meet the speakers in person on Sunday 1 May, after the end of the Conference, at a nearby pub in Oxford. 

For all enquiries, please contact: For more information, feel free to consult the Conference website.

So you want to study non-Eurocentric philosophy? (Information and Q&A session)

2 March 2022, 8pm GMT (on Zoom)

interested or actively seeking to learn about ‘non-eurocentric’ philosophy beyond your curriculum as a student at Oxford (and beyond!) but not sure where to start?

pursuing non-eurocentric philosophy at the graduate level but not sure how to find the programmes?

navigating find any resources at all? finding people and departments that will take the study seriously? that will actively enhance your experience and enable your philosophical career or hone your philosophical abilities?

whether you have questions or are just curious, join Philiminality to talk with trailblazing students already doing it! from testing the new undergraduate Indian philosophy paper at Oxford to moving between departments to find resources to carving out an arena with their own research to finding faculty support and positive change, this panel will hear from students with a range of experiences.

come to zoom to hear some background and thoughts on terms used, introductions to our panelists’ areas of study, and plenty of time for questions. we’ll try to help you navigate a changing discipline for expanded and interesting horizons in the philosophy available to us.


Jack Franco: (he/him), BA Philosophy and French, sitting the UG Indian Philosophy paper.

Justin Holder: current DPhil Philosophy student, focusing on the intersection of Madhyamaka philosophy and philosophy of science

Jonathan Egid: current PhD in Comparative Literature at KCL specialising in Ethiopian philosophy and global intellectual history

Lea Cantor: current DPhil Philosophy student, specialising Chinese (esp. Daoist) and Ancient Greek philosophy, as well as historiography and comparative methodology in philosophy

Ancient Women Philosophers: Key Findings and Methodological Considerations – A Talk by Katharine O’Reilly and Caterina Pellò

Thursday, 2 December 2021 (online), 12-1.30pm GMT

We are delighted to announce a talk (online) on “Ancient Women Philosophers: Key Findings and Methodological Considerations” by Katharine O’Reilly and Caterina Pellò. In this talk (full abstract below), they will discuss their exciting forthcoming book, Ancient Women Philosophers: Recovered Ideas and New Perspectives.

The talk is jointly organized by Philiminality Oxford and the Oxford Philosophy Faculty’s Women’s Student Representative, Lara Scheibli.


Despite the common misconception that ancient philosophy was the domain of male thinkers, ancient sources suggest that women engaged in philosophical activity. However, with the sole – and highly debated – exception of the Pythagorean women, no direct evidence and no writings by these thinkers have survived. We are left with a list of names and records of their lives in the works of male authors. Our book Ancient Women Philosophers: Recovered Ideas and New Perspectives aims to retrieve the thought of ancient women philosophers and carve out a place for them in the canon. The book includes chapters on a vast array of philosophers, stretching from eighth century Indian philosophers to the Cyrenaic philosopher Arete, and from the Neoplatonist scientist Hypatia to the Chinese writer Ban Zhao.

In this talk, we plan to discuss source issues and survey the methodological strategies we can use to approach the evidence. We shall consider questions such as: What limiting factors prevent us from learning more about these women’s ideas? How can we engage with the available sources philosophically? Can fictional characters teach us anything about real women philosophers? And what can we learn from biographical and literary accounts? To what extent does it matter that these thinkers are women? Is there a different female voice in ancient philosophy? And ultimately, what counts as philosophy in antiquity?

About the speakers:

Katharine O’Reilly studied ancient philosophy at the University of Toronto, King’s College London, and Oxford (D.Phil, 2019). She is currently an Assistant Professor at X University (formerly Ryerson) in Toronto. Her primary research areas are ancient moral psychology, Hellenistic ethics, and methodological issues in the study of ancient women philosophers.

Caterina Pellò studied ancient philosophy in Durham and Cambridge, where she wrote a thesis on women in early Pythagoreanism. She is currently an Associate Lecturer at University College London and a Fellow of the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies. Her primary research areas are Presocratic philosophy, ancient Greek biology, and the study of women in the history of philosophy.


To register and receive Zoom details, please complete this form:

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at philiminality.ox[at] or to contact Lara (lara.scheibli[at]  

Organizers: Lea Cantor & Alesia Preite (Philiminality Oxford); Lara Scheibli (Graduate Women’s Rep)

Philosophy: Its Practice and Practitioners (Online Series of Talks)

Tuesday, 16 November 2021, 7pm GMT; Thursday, 25 November 2021, 5pm GMT 

We are delighted to announce an upcoming series of talks (online) entitled ‘Philosophy: Its Practice and Practitioners’ scheduled for this Michaelmas Term, jointly organized by Philiminality Oxford and the Oxford Philosophy Faculty’s Equality and Diversity Representative, Sebastian Sanchez-Schilling. The aim of the talk series is to explore the link between the practice, methods and objects of professional philosophy and the identity and socio-political situation of its practitioners. Why is it fairly common for philosophers to downplay attention to social situations? Should this surprise us? Is it true that what is meant by philosophy, and how it is approached, is dependent on who gets to do philosophy, and where? Can philosophy be inclusive? What kind of change in its practice, methods and institutions would be required? 

Confirmed Speakers and Talk Times

– Prof. Sharon Stein (University of British Columbia) – Tuesday, 16 November 2021 [week 6], 7pm GMT

– Ellie Robson (CHASE PhD Researcher, Birkbeck, University of London) – Thursday, 25 November 2021 [week 7], 5pm GMT 


– Prof. Sharon Stein (University of British Columbia), ‘The Challenges and Possibilities of Decolonizing Higher Education in VUCA Times’

 Discussions about the decolonization of philosophy take place within the wider context of efforts to interrupt inherited hierarchies of knowledge and reimagine higher education as we know it. In this presentation I offer some insights from recent research and pedagogical experiments that engage the challenges and complexities of undertaking decolonizing work in a contemporary educational context characterized by volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). Rather than prescribe a single pathway forward, I invite people to develop the capacities and the stamina to walk toward as-yet-unimaginable futures with more honesty, humility, and hyper-self-reflexivity. In particular, drawing on my work with the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures research/arts collective, I will review a series of pedagogical frameworks that we have developed for inviting intellectually and relationally rigorous engagements with social and ecological challenges.

– Ellie Robson (CHASE PhD Researcher, Birkbeck, University of London)

The history of philosophy is a history of men talking to men, about other men. Our answer to the question ‘What is philosophy for?’ has been shaped by this historical narrative. My talk explores an answer to this question posed by the woman philosopher Mary Midgley. Midgley argued that philosophy is a necessity, not a luxury. She described it as ‘something we are doing all the time, a continuous, necessary background activity which is likely to go badly if we don’t attend to it’ (2018:81). These insights of Midgley’s have been systematically underappreciated and overlooked within the academic discipline of philosophy. My talk questions the connection between Midgley as a philosophical practitioner, and her conception of philosophy as a practise. I will ask whether and to what extent being a minority in philosophy impacted the way Midgley conceived of the practise of philosophy. And further, how our accepted practise of the history of philosophy sustains and perpetuate the neglect of women philosophers (and other minorities). Overall, our standard story of men, talking to men about men, needs disrupting to include the (her)stories of overlooked philosophers. And doing so might change our conception of philosophical practise itself.


To register and receive Zoom details, please complete this form:

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at philiminality.ox[at] or to contact Seb (sebastian.sanchez-schilling[at]

Organizers: Sebastian Sanchez-Schilling, Alesia Preite, and Lea Cantor

One-Many Relations in Chinese Philosophy (Online Workshop Announcement)

6 November 2021

Philiminality Oxford is delighted to announce a one-day online workshop entitled ‘One-Many Relations in Chinese Philosophy’, jointly organised with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). In the worldview of different traditions, we usually find paradoxical articulations of one-many relations, such as “one is many”, “all in each”, “trinity”, “unity of heaven and the human”, and so on. What are the different strategies employed by different thinkers, especially those from the Chinese philosophical traditions, to account for the diversification of one or the unification of many? What would be the foundation for contemplating one-many relations? This workshop aims to investigate these questions with a view to intercultural examination and dialogue, focusing particularly on Chinese philosophy. 


Cantor, Lea (University of Oxford) 
Chew, Sihao (University of Oxford) 
He, Fan (Sichuan University) 
Kwok, Sai Hang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology) 
Koo, Hao Wei (Nanyang Technological University)
Liang, Yuhan (University of Connecticut) 
Tan, Christine (Yale-NUS College)

Date and Time:

The workshop will be held on 6 November 2021 (Saturday), starting at:

– 7pm (GMT +8) – Singapore, Hong Kong, and China time; 
– 7am – US time
– 11am – UK time

The workshop will end at:
– 11.10pm – Singapore, Hong Kong, and China time;
– 1.10pm – US time
– 3.10pm – UK time 
( timings updated as of Nov 5)

Zoom Details:

Zoom ID: 982 3676 8637 
Passcode: 526715 
Time: Nov 6, 2021 19:00 (GMT+8)

Schedule [all times are in GMT +8]:

19:00 – 19:30“Zhuangzi’s Challenge to Parmenidean Monism” Cantor, Lea (University of Oxford)
19:30 – 20:00“The Oneness that the Genuine-Human is in” Koo, Hao Wei (Nanyang Technological University)
20:00 – 20:30“The Sameness and Difference of One’s Nature (性 xing) in Guo Xiang” Tan, Christine Abigail L. (Yale-NUS College)
20:30 – 21:00“How Heaven and Humanity are United as One: Tong as an Alternative to Tianren Heyi” He, Fan (Sichuan University)
21:00 – 21:10Break
21:10 – 21:40“Origin and Beginning: On the Genealogical Unity of the Things in the DaodejingKwok, Sai Hang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
21:40 – 22:10“The Devil is in the Details: Contrasting Metaphysical Worldviews in Zhu Xi’s and Huayan Buddhist Moon Analogy” Chew, Sihao (University of Oxford)
22:10 -22:40“Zhu Xi’s Moral Epistemology: Different Thinking Processes and the Same Moral Truth”Liang, Yuhan (University of Connecticut)
22:40 – 23:10Q & A for all sessions


Zhuangzi’s Challenge to Parmenidean Monism

Cantor, Lea (University of Oxford)

Numerical monism is the view that there is only one thing in the universe. The early Greek philosopher Parmenides has traditionally been taken to be committed to such a view. This paper will not attempt to demonstrate that this interpretation is accurate, but will instead address one of the consequences that would follow from it if it were right. A familiar paradox is that Parmenides’ monistic conception of ‘being’ (or reality) seems to preclude the possibility of a separate thinker. An under-discussed implication of this is that knowledge would then be impossible, since there would be no thinker to cognize being. This raises the question whether Parmenides thought that he could know being at all.

I venture that bringing Parmenides in dialogue with the classical Chinese thinker Zhuangzi can help here. I first consider Zhuangzi’s direct objection to numerical monism, which, as A.C. Graham has rightly noted, is remarkably similar to Plato’s response to Parmenides in the Sophist. I then consider Zhuangzi’s broader challenges to monistic theories associated with early Daoist and other Warring States texts. Zhuangzi’s scepticism that we could ever know such theories to be true lies at the heart of his critical stance. It is this epistemological challenge which I wish to apply to Parmenides’ theory. Indeed, the second-order question whether Parmenides could ever know being has perilous implications for his monistic argument. 

Finally, I explore the possibility that Parmenides could respond to this challenge.  I do so by considering a Zhuangzian perspective on his use of analogies in describing being. Like Zhuangzi, Parmenides arguably used analogies as a way of admitting to the limits of words and arguments in describing reality. If this is right, then Parmenides was closer to a radical sceptic than to the unapologetic dogmatist that the traditional view takes him to be.

The Oneness that the Genuine-Human is in

Koo, Hao Wei (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore)

What is that Oneness that the opposing oneness and non-oneness is in? What does it mean to say that being a follower of the Heavenly or human is in Oneness, from which we are to take as conclusion to understanding the notion of Genuine-Human, the Zhuangzian paragon? I argue that Oneness, in the concluding passage of an extensive description of the behaviour of the said Zhuangzian paragon, in chapter 6 of the Zhuangzi, refers to the primordial state of being of things, understood as things being themselves. I then draw on this interpretation of Oneness to arrive by implication, and thereby showing the importance of how the notion of Genuine-Human necessarily bears upon one’s understanding of Oneness, that what it means to be a Genuine-Human is to be true or genuine to oneself (and to the things one encounter) in the sense of being sincere. I then briefly discuss one implication and significance arising from what I argued.

The Sameness and Difference of One’s Nature (xing) in Guo Xiang

Tan, Christine Abigail L. (Yale-NUS College, Singapore)

What is human nature? Are they fundamentally different, or the same? That is, do what define our natures come internally, or externally?

For Guo Xiang, a Chinese philosopher and the primary commentator of the Zhuangzi, these are not necessarily contradictory. To him, difference and sameness are but one – not simply because they are complementary, but because they are necessary to the fullness of each, and are each of the other’s logical extremes that allows the other to exist.

In this work, I shall talk about the two angles of nature (性 xing): one is one’s individual or distinct nature (性分xingfen), which I shall translate as allotted nature or natural allotment, depending on context; the other one being endowed nature (性命 xingming). The reason for focusing on these two aspects is that one highlights the particularity of xing, whereas the other denotes a relation to the whole, that is, to a conception of the order of the world. These two, as we shall see, are equally important to the philosophy of Guo Xiang and are mutually necessary for the logical consistency of the other.

How Heaven and Humanity are United as One: Tong as an Alternative to Tianren Heyi

He, Fan (Sichuan University)

The relation between heaven and humanity is a central topic in Chinese philosophy. It is often examined through tianren heyi 天人合一, a term considered the most significant to Chinese culture. In this article, I argue that tianren heyi is inappropriate and even misleading in our discussion of the relation between heaven and humanity. I investigate its absence from pre-Qin texts, the vagueness of its meaning, and the exaggeration of its significance in Chinese philosophy. Hence, I propose tong as an alternative, taking two steps. First, I demonstrate that, in contrast to tianren heyitong 同is widely used as an important term by various early philosophical streams. Second, I focus on the Mohist shangtong 尚同, the Confucian datong 大同, and the Taoist xuantong 玄同, presenting how different philosophical streams take tong as a central term to develop distinct theories of the ideal relation between heaven and humanity. Instead of tianren heyi, tongcan provide a solid step to fully understanding how heaven and humanity are united. 

Origin and Beginning: On the Genealogical Unity of the Things in the Daodejing

Kwok, Sai Hang (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

A traditional reading of the Daodejing suggests that dao is the source or origin of the ten-thousand things. The reading entails that all things in the world are subsumed to a cosmological unity in the evolving Nature. In this paper, I argue that this interpretation is too simplistic and superficial for it has overlooked the distinction between “origin (mu 母)” and “beginning (shi 始)” in the Daodejing. The Chinese characters “mu 母” and “shi 始” etymologically refer to the mother and the young daughter respectively. These two metaphors suggest that the origination of things in the Daodejing can be understood in two ways: “shi” refers to the starting point of a continuous process of becoming while “mu” denotes the separation between the generator and the generated. Just like the young daughter will gradually grow into a mother and the mother will give birth to the next generation, the ten-thousand things emerge in this ceaseless reproduction of life cycles without recourse to an absolute origin. Therefore, the multiplicity of the ten-thousand things is not subsumed to a cosmological unity in dao but rather, dao denotes the genealogical unity of the things in which each individual existent has its own origin and trace. This understanding of the genealogy of things would unfold a non-totalistic metaphysics of Daoism.

The Devil is in the Details: Contrasting Metaphysical Worldviews in Zhu Xi’s and Huayan Buddhist Moon Analogy

Chew, Sihao (University of Oxford)

Zhu Xi’s analogy of the moon casting its reflection on myriad streams (月映萬川 yue ying wanchuan)—hereafter, referred to as the moon analogy—is often described to exemplify the all-is-one position of Huayan Buddhism. This is not surprising as both employ the same cluster of imageries with many striking similarities. However, these apparent similarities, I argue, are misleading as they often threaten to obscure the differences between Huayan’s and Zhu Xi’s metaphysical worldview. 

To better understand the underlying worldviews, I contextualise both cluster of imageries within their respective traditions: Huayan’s moon analogy with the Indra’s Net analogy that traces back to Indian Buddhism, and Zhu Xi’s moon analogy with his water and plant analogy that traces back to early Confucianism. I compare the respective imageries to show that, though they employ the same imageries, there are at least two significant differences in their system of correspondence. The first difference is the correlation of water to qi, revealing the qi aspect of Zhu Xi’s worldview, which is absent in the Huayan tradition. The second difference is more nuanced. The moon in the sky refers to the Li of an individual—many li—for Huayan Buddhist, but for Zhu Xi it refers to the Great Ultimate—one li. This difference contributes to the divergence in their position of the relation between the one and many, where the former is committed to numerical identity while the latter posits qualitative identity between the one and many. Lastly, I make a general point regarding the discussion on Buddhist influence on Zhu Xi using my findings above. I argue that one should not be too quick to establish Buddhist influence on Zhu Xi based on apparent similarities. Instead, before establishing the connection, one should first investigate the details and check for nascent forms of the relevant trope in earlier periods of Chinese intellectual history.

Zhu Xi’s Moral Epistemology: Different Thinking Processes and the Same Moral Truth

Liang, Yuhan (University of Connecticut)

This paper starts with a skeptical question: how do we know if we are making the right judgment? One possible answer is that we know whether our judgments are right through knowing our heaven-earth nature. The first section introduces two kinds of nature: heaven-earth nature and qi-based nature. Neo-Confucians take cosmology as the foundation of morality. Thus, by knowing the pattern of this world, we will know what is right. Since our heaven-earth nature is the pattern, we make the right judgment via knowing heaven-earth nature. Although everyone has heaven-earth nature, heaven-earth nature is embodied in qi-forms. So, one’s judgments are fallible. In the second section, I analyze epistemic failures. Since the pattern is embodied in qi-forms, we can only know the pattern through proper emotions. But qi-nature generates human desires which might block our proper emotions and further impede us from knowing the pattern. To have proper emotions, moral cultivation is necessary. As cultivation goes, one is more likely to know the right judgment. In the third section, I, based on a charitable reading of Zhu Xi, propose that there are three types of knowledge. When we attain the type three knowing, we will feel awakening to the pattern. Also, we will know the moral truth. In the last section, I return to skepticism: if the type three knowing is infallible, then we cannot make sense of disagreements among type three knowing. But if type three knowing is fallible, then it means the feeling of awakening cannot guarantee the agent knows the objective truth. Thus, we can always suspect whether we have the right judgment.

For any inquiries, feel free to email Leo ( or

Queerness Beyond Borders (Conference Announcement & CFP)

7-9 July 2021

Online Worcester College, Oxford

UPDATE: The Conference is now scheduled for 7-9 July 2021, and the CfP deadline has been extended to 15 June 2021.

We are delighted to announce a three-day international conference entitled ‘Queerness Beyond Borders’, to take place online from Wednesday 7th to Friday 9th of July 2021. The conference is organised jointly by Worcester College (University of Oxford) and Philiminality Oxford. Talks will be scheduled for late afternoon/early evening GMT each day. (The provisional time is from 4:00pm GMT to 7:30pm GMT each day, with the exception of Wednesday, when the session will run slightly longer.) Final times will be announced here in due course. 

Confirmed invited speakers include:

  • Hon. Louisa Wall (Parliament of New Zealand Pāremata Aotearoa) – A queer, indigenous MP from New Zealand, and drafter of the marriage equality law that legalised same-sex marriage in NZ.
  • Prof. Philip Ayoub (Occidental College) – Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations. Queer activist and scholar focusing on LGBTIQ+ rights, social movements, transnational politics, sexuality, and gender.
  • Andrea Jenkins (Minneapolis City Council) – The first black openly transgender councillor in the United States.
  • Prof. Kerri Woods (University of Leeds) – Associate Professor of Political Theory. Scholar focusing on the political philosophy of human rights, feminist thought, and refugees.
  • Valentino Vecchietti – Intersex activist specialising in issues relating to intersex and queer persons’ rights in Europe and beyond. They work with universities and provide consultation in the arts.

More information can be found on the conference website:

Call for Papers (Deadline: 15 June 2021)

We invite proposals for papers to be presented as part of the ‘Emerging Scholars Colloquium’, in which authors of the selected papers will have the opportunity to present and discuss their work with the invited speakers. These contributions will also be part of a podcast recording to be disseminated on the University of Oxford’s ‘OxfordTalks’ platform.

We welcome papers which address any of the themes listed in the conference summary and/or areas of interest of invited speakers and/or the following general themes: 

  • Analytic approaches to queer theory
  • Normative and/or conceptual issues around queerness and borders
  • The links between academic philosophy, activism, and policy 

Eligibility: The CfP is open to graduate students and early career researchers within 3 years of the completion of their doctoral degree. 

Submission Guidelines: 

  • An abstract of no more than 300 words.  
  • and: A full paper (not exceeding 8000 words, including footnotes but not including references), to be considered for presentation at the Conference (as part of the ‘Emerging Scholars’ Colloquium) and for a podcast recording to be disseminated through the conference’s website and on the University of Oxford’s OxfordTalks platform. 
  • To submit an abstract and full paper, please send a Word or PDF file to Please write ‘Conference Submission’ in the subject line of your email. In the body of your email include: your name, departmental affiliation, email address, and the title of your paper (as well as the year in which your PhD was awarded, in the case of early career researchers). Abstracts and papers should be prepared for blind review, so please ensure that your document is free from any identifying personal details.
  • The submission deadline is 15 June 2021. We will notify authors of acceptance by late June 2021.

The conference is organised with the generous support of Worcester College, Oxford and Balliol College, Oxford. 

The conference organisers,

Johann Go 

Matteo Parisi

Robin Brons 

Lea Cantor

The Analects of Confucius – Seminar Series

Trinity Term 2021; online

ID: The Teaching of Confucius” – A portrait by Wu Daozi, 685-758, Tang Dynasty

The Analects consists of a collection of sayings that are traditionally attributed to the Classical Chinese philosopher known as Confucius. The ideas to be found in the Analects have been so influential that they are often seen as the cornerstone of Confucianism. In this seminar series, we will be hosting three talks on  the Analects (in weeks 2, 4 and 6) by leading experts in Confucian thought, covering topics in ethics and political thought. Additionally, in the last two weeks of terms, we will look more closely at a range of key Confucian terms to be found in the Analects, straddling ethical theory and notions of the self.  

No prior background in Chinese philosophy or Classical Chinese is required. 

In order to make the seminar series maximally accessible to those unfamiliar with the Analects and/or Confucianism more broadly, Heeyoung Tae will be giving a basic introduction to the Analects and its context in week 1. 

Programme [All times are BST]:

TT Week 1 (Monday 26 April, 3-4pm): Heeyoung Tae (University of Oxford), Introduction to the Analects  

TT Week 2 (Monday 3 May, 3-4.30pm): Prof. Stephen Angle (Wesleyan University), “The Analects and Modern Moral Philosophy”

TT Week 4 (Monday 17 May, 10-11.30am):  Prof. LI Chenyang (Nanyang Technological University), “Li as Cultural Grammar: On the Relation Between Li and Ren in Confucius’ Analects” 

TT Week 6 (Monday 31 May, 10-11.30am): Prof. TAN Sor-Hoon (Singapore Management University), “Confucian Democracy and the Analects

TT week 7 (Monday 7 June, 3-4.30pm): reading group session 1,  basic ethical concepts (convenors: Heeyoung Tae and Lea Cantor) 

TT Week 8 (Monday 14 June, 3-4.30pm): reading group session 2, the self and social roles (convenors: Sihao Chew and Flaminia Pischedda) 


To register and receive more details (including bibliographical resources and Zoom details), please register here:

If you have any questions, feel free to email us at:

Organisers: Heeyoung Tae, Lea Cantor, Sihao Chew, and Flaminia Pischedda

Talk Abstracts: 

Stephen C. Angle, “The Analects and Modern Moral Philosophy”

This lecture explores the advantages and disadvantages of viewing the Analects through the lens of contemporary moral theory. It looks in particular at Kantian deontology, which Sinophone scholarship on the text has tended to stress; virtue ethics, which is more prominent in Anglophone secondary literature; and role ethics, which has emerged as a potential alternative to both deontology and virtue ethics. These discussions reveal that Sinophone and Anglophone philosophers are starting to engage one another, which is helping to spur the related (though not identical) process of dialogue between Western and Chinese philosophical traditions. Concern about an unhealthy hegemony of Western categories is by no means a thing of the past, but we are beginning to see glimpses of a future that is pluralistic, open, and global.

LI Chenyang, “Li as Cultural Grammar: On the Relation Between Li and Ren in Confucius’ Analects

A major controversy in the study of the Analects has been over the relation between the two central concepts of li (rites, rituals of propriety) and ren (humanity, human excellence). Confucius seems to have said inconsistent things about this relation. Some passages appear to suggest that ren is more fundamental than li, while others seem to imply the contrary, and it is therefore not surprising that there have been different interpretations and characterizations. In this presentation, I will present an interpretation that I believe best characterizes the relation between li and ren. Using the analogy of language grammar and mastery of a language, I propose that we should understand li as a cultural grammar and ren as the mastery of a culture. In this account, society cultivates its members through li toward the goal of ren.

TAN Sor-Hoon, “Confucian Democracy and the Analects

There has been a lively debate over the relationship of Confucianism to democracy. Samuel Huntington’s dismissal of Confucian democracy as an oxymoron has been overtaken by a variety of different proposals on whether or not the Confucian political ideal could be democratic. Disagreements among the participants in this debate include issues to do with interpretation of Confucian canonical texts, the most important of which is arguably the Analects. This talk will discuss some of the key passages in the Analects for understanding the political thought of Confucius and its implications for constructing a Confucian democracy today.

About the Speakers: 

Stephen C. Angle 

Stephen C. Angle is Director of the Fries Center for Global Studies, Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, and Professor of Philosophy at Wesleyan University. Angle specialises in Confucianism, Neo-Confucianism, and comparative philosophy, and his research focuses on philosophy’s role in human rights, politics, and ethics both in China and globally. He has co-directed two NEH Summer Institutes, is a recipient of several major grants, and was awarded Wesleyan’s Binswanger Prize for Excellence in Teaching. Angle is the author of four books and co-editor of two others. His latest book, on Confucianism as a way of life, will be published next year by Oxford University Press; his blog on Chinese and comparative philosophy is:

LI Chenyang

Chenyang Li is Professor of philosophy at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, where he founded the philosophy program. His primary areas of research are Chinese philosophy and comparative philosophy. He is the author of The Tao Encounters the West: Explorations in Comparative Philosophy, The Confucian Philosophy of Harmony, Comprehensive Harmony: Thome Fang’s Philosophy (with Fan He and L. Zhang) and of over 100 journal articles and book chapters. His edited volumes include The Sage and the Second Sex, The East Asian Challenge for Democracy (with Daniel Bell), Moral Cultivation and Confucian Character (with Peimin Ni), Chinese Metaphysics and its Problems (with Franklin Perkins), Harmony in Chinese Thought: A Philosophical Introduction (with Sai Hang Kwok and Dascha Düring). He was the founding president of Association of Chinese Philosophers in North America (ACPA), President of International Society for Chinese Philosophy (ISCP), Senior Visiting Fellow at the City University of Hong Kong, an American Council on Education ACE fellow, and an inaugural Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioural Sciences in Stanford University. Currently he serves on the editorial/academic boards of over two dozen scholarly publications and organisations.

TAN Sor-Hoon

Sor-hoon Tan is Professor of Philosophy at Singapore Management University. Her research focuses on comparative studies of Confucianism and John Dewey’s Pragmatism. She is the author of Confucian Democracy: a Deweyan Reconstruction, editor of Bloomsbury Research Handbook of Chinese Philosophy Methodologies, Feminist Encounters with Confucius, and several journal articles and book chapters on Chinese and Comparative philosophy.

New Perpsectives on Babylonian and Egyptian Cosmogonies: Knowledge and Myth (co-organised with the Early Text Cultures Project)

Friday 27 March 2021, 2pm-5.30pm (on Zoom)

To conclude our Mesopotamian and Egyptian Cosmogonies Reading Group, Philiminality Oxford and Early Text Cultures have organised this workshop, bringing together Prof. Marc Van De Mieroop and Prof. Katja Goebs, whose work can help us to explore cosmogonic myths from new perspectives.

About the Speakers:

Marc Van De Mieroop, Professor of History at Columbia University, is a specialist on the history of the ancient Near East from the beginning of writing to the age of Alexander of Macedon. He has written on various aspects of ancient Near Eastern history, Egyptian history, and World History. His current research focuses on the intellectual history of ancient Babylonia and his last book, Philosophy before the Greeks: The Pursuit of Truth in Ancient Babylonia (2015), studies Babylonian epistemology. He is also the Director of Columbia’s Center for the Ancient Mediterranean and Founding Editor of the Journal of Ancient Near Eastern History.

Katja Goebs is an Associate Professor of Egyptology in the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses primarily on the history of Egyptian religion and the institution of the kingship as well as the interface between the two. Her work is often interdisciplinary, adducing parallels from neighbouring or other cultures, as well as applying models and methods from disciplines such as anthropology or psychology to the Egyptian evidence. Her current projects include the collection of evidence for “Divine Light” in Egypt and Mesopotamia, as well as the relationship between Egyptian text and image as expressed in metaphorical language. She is a Trustee of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities, a corresponding member of the German Archaeological Institute in Cairo, and the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (JSSEA).


12 – 2:30pm Talk by Prof. Marc Van De Mieroop, “What’s in a name? The Babylonian Creation Myth as the key to Babylonian epistemology.”

Abstract: This talk will argue that the final 200 lines of the Babylonian Creation Myth – often seen as a boring appendix listing the fifty names of Marduk – provide insight on how the ancient Babylonians saw an understanding of truth to be based on “reading”.

2:30 – 3:15pm Q&A

3:15 – 4:15pm: Break

4:15 – 4:45pm Talk by Prof. Katja Goebs, “‘I am the Ba-soul of Shu’ – Egyptian Mythical roles, similes, and metaphors, and what they can tell us about the fundamental functions of myth in Egyptian society.”

Abstract: Evidence for Egyptian myth, as seen in the use of its individual characters and episodes in both the written and the artistic record, can be found in essentially all periods for which these media are attested. This paper seeks to illustrate just how fundamental the function of myth was for Egyptian society by presenting evidence for mythical metaphors and similes, drawn from a variety of stories, that illustrate how aspects of both ritualized and everyday life could be encoded in terms of myth. Drawing on evidence from the Cognitive and Neurosciences, it is suggested that mythical actors and episodes (known as “mythemes” in scholarly literature) provided visual associations that allowed the Egyptian to categorize knowledge and to retrieve it efficiently, as well as to communicate it to others in the format of figurative language. Some of the texts adduced make this particular function explicit. The database system “Mythophor” will moreover be introduced.

4:45 – 5:30pm Q&A


You must sign up to receive further details, including Zoom link:…/1FAIpQLSeWbUKXqtliFN…/viewform.

Ancient Near Eastern Cosmogonies Reading Group (co-organised with the Early Text Cultures Project)

Mondays of even weeks of Hilary Term 2021, 3-4.30pm (on Zoom)

Mesopotamian and Egyptian cosmogonical texts are amongst the oldest surviving tales about the beginning of the universe and humankind. In this reading group, we are particularly interested in exploring the philosophy, philology, literature, archeology, history, and religion of: the Sumerian Debate between Sheep and Grain, and the Debate between Winter and Summer (ca. mid- to late 3rd millennium BCE); the Babylonian Enuma Elish (perhaps late 2nd millennium BCE); as well as the Egyptian Pyramid Texts (ca. 2300–2200 BCE) and Coffin Texts (ca. 2050–1710 BCE).
We will be going over the texts in translation to make the reading group as accessible as possible to those with no prior background in the texts and traditions under consideration. To this end, each session will be moderated by an expert on the texts, who will briefly introduce the readings and guide discussion.
The reading group will take place on Zoom every two weeks, in even weeks of Hilary Term (i.e. the Oxford Winter term) and each session will last 1h30 (Mondays, 3-4.30pm UK time).

HT Week 2 (week of 25 Jan): Sumerian Debates
HT Week 4 (week of 8 Feb): Babylonian Creation Myth (Enuma Elish)
HT Week 6 (week of 22 Feb): Egyptian Pyramid Texts
HT Week 8 (week of 8 Mar): Egyptian Coffin Texts

Suggested readings will be shared with those who sign up. We ask that you at least read the relevant primary texts (in translation) ahead of each meeting; though note that none of the secondary literature is required reading for our discussions. Please also feel free to come to the sessions with questions about the texts, as there will be plenty of time for interactive discussion.

To register and receive translations as well as bibliographical resources for each of the sessions, please sign up through this Google Form:…/1FAIpQLSdQk3uFLIQ5o9…/viewform.
Zoom details will follow (and will be shared exclusively with those who register).
Please note that sessions will be recorded and sent out only on demand.
If you have any questions about the reading group, please do not hesitate to email the lead organiser, Val Borba (valquirya.borba[at]

Lead Organiser: Val Borba
Convenors: Christie Carr, Bernardo Ballesteros Petrella, Ilaria Cariddi, and Jordan Miller

Film-Philosophy Week: A Wong Kar-Wai futurespective

In the Mood for Love (on Sun 13th Dec 7pm) & 2046 (Fri 18th Dec 7pm), discussing them at 5pm on Tue 15th & Tuesday 22nd Dec.

(Cover picture: A still from In The Mood For Love)

Can our imagination plunge into the future to recover what we lost? In his mesmerising mood piece In The Mood For Love (2000) and its sequel 2046 (2004) Hong-Kong director Wong Kar-wai swirls around the all-too-familiar concerns around altered forms of time, dislocation, longing, and grief.

During the first week of the winter vac opp and Philiminality invite you to embark on a journey through live streamed films and discussions to: discover how films can do philosophy through the screen, inspire communal visual meditations during challenging times, and practice radical openness to our own philosophical and cultural assumptions.

Optional learning resources will be provided for the most adventurous, and communal reflection will be guided by Martina Bani, a recent graduate from the MSt in Film Aesthetics. We aim for this to be a week that practices expanding our horizons through a kind of philosophy less salient in our curricula, enmeshing film and community in the task of living.

Dates and Times. In the Mood for Love (on Sun 13th Dec 7pm) & 2046 (Fri 18th Dec 7pm), discussing them at 5pm on Tue 15th & Tuesday 22 Dec.

Reconsidering Early Chinese Conceptions of Transcendence (Seminar)

Monday 7th December 2020, 4.30pm BST – Online (Zoom details tba)

Cover pictures: Immortal with wispy, feather like clothing and dragons. Yinan, Shandong, Eastern Han dynasty. After Zhongguo huaxiangshi quanji, vol. 1 (Jinan: Shandong meishu chubanshe, 2000), fig. 198 (Left picture); Immortal with dragon haunches for the lower half of its body. Nanyang, Henan, Eastern Han dynasty. After Zhongguo huaxiangshi quanji, vol. 6 (Jinan: Shandong meishu chubanshe, 2000), fig. 129 (background picture).

We are delighted to announce an upcoming seminar (online) addressing early Chinese conceptions of transcendence. Dr Anton Terekhov will give a talk entitled “The Sages are Dead: Rethinking the Idea of sheng 聖 in Zhuangzi”, and Prof. Robert F. Campany will be speaking about “The Many Social Aspects of the Quest for “Transcendence””.

Each speaker will deliver a 30-minute lecture (followed by up to 40 minutes of Q&A and discussion), which will hone in on certain key concepts in pre-Imperial and early Medieval texts broadly associated with the Daoist tradition. Dr Anton Terekhov (Institute of Oriental Manuscripts, Russian Academy of Science) will address the notion of transcendence as it relates to Warring States texts, with specific reference to concepts of zhenren 真人 and shengren 聖人. Prof. Robert F. Campany (Vanderbilt University) will discuss the concept of xian 仙 as it relates to Han and early Medieval texts.


Anthony Terekhov, “The Sages are Dead: Rethinking the Idea of sheng 聖 in Zhuangzi”

The idea of shengren 聖人 (sagely persons / sages) as the model kings of old was introduced into Chinese philosophy by Mohists and quickly gained enormous popularity among Warring States thinkers, who adopted it as designation for exemplary persons. Yet, in Zhuangzi 莊子 this traditional concept was viciously ridiculed and completely reinvented. The term sheng was stripped of any of its historical connotations and made impersonal, allowing the reader not just to emulate the Sages, but to become one. Besides, Zhuangzi’s new kind of Sages were endowed with various superhuman abilities, making them closely related to other kinds of ideal personalities such as zhenren 真人 (true person), zhiren 至人 (perfect person), shenren 神人 (godlike person) etc., whose images were also developed, if not invented, in Zhuangzi, thus paving the way for the idea of transcendents that ultimately became an inherent part of the Chinese tradition.

Robert Ford Campany, “The Many Social Aspects of the Quest for “Transcendence”:

In early medieval China, practitioners wielded many kinds of esoteric methods to lengthen their lifespans and gradually enhance and empower themselves as they moved toward the goal of becoming “transcendents” or deathless beings. To what extent, and in what ways, did their practices and activities involve other people?

About the speakers:

Anthony Terekhov is a Researcher at the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts (Russian Academy of Sciences), St. Petersburg. Dr Terekhov holds a Candidate degree in History with a thesis on the image of Sage (sheng) in the chenwei. He is now working on the textual issues of chenwei and on Han omenology.

Robert Ford Campany is Professor of Asian and Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University. He is the foremost current expert on the early Chinese hagiographic literature and conceptions of transcendence. His award-winning book Making Transcendents: Ascetics and Social Memory in Early Medieval China (University of Hawai’i Press, 2009) focuses on the socio-religious aspect and role of the aspirants to xian-hood.

Chinese Philosophy Discussion GroupReconsidering the Daoist Tradition: Metaphysics and Cosmology in Early Excavated and Transmitted Texts

Michaelmas Term (Even Weeks – online)

The ‘Miscellaneous Prognostications Concerning Astronomy and Meteorology’ Manuscript preserved at Hunan Museum

Conventionally, the metaphysical and cosmological ideas to be found in the Daodejing and the Zhuangzi are assumed to be representative of the so-called Daoist tradition. We will re-examine this assumption by exploring the heterogeneity of the metaphysical and cosmological theories of some recently excavated palaeographical material and transmitted texts that are often neglected in discussions of Daoist philosophy and Chinese philosophy more generally. These texts include, but are not limited to, the Tai Yi Sheng Shui, the Neiye, the Liezi, the Huainanzi, and the commentaries of Wang Bi and Guo Xiang. This discussion group will look at passages from some of these texts in translation, and is open to anyone interested in ancient and early medieval metaphysical and cosmological theories outside the mainstream, Daoist philosophy, and Chinese philosophy more broadly.

No prior background in Chinese philosophy or Classical Chinese is required.

The discussion group will take place online every two weeks (in even weeks of MT) and each session will last 1h30 (exact times tbd). 

Further information and resources will be available in early September. To register and receive updates on the discussion group, please email us at

Organizers: Lea Cantor, Sihao Chew, Flaminia Pischedda

‘Non-Western’ Philosophy Q & A

Wednesday 11th November 2020, 3pm BST – Online (Zoom details below)

want to learn about ‘non-Western’ philosophy beyond your curriculum as a student at Oxford but not sure where to start? want to study non-Western philosophy at the graduate level but not sure how to find the programmes? whether you have questions or are just curious, join Philiminality to talk with trailblazing grad students already doing it! first Lea Cantor (ancient Chinese & Greek philosophies) will address the notion of ‘non-Western’ philosophy before she and 2 more graduates – Jonathan Egid (African philosophy) & Zulhaqem Bin Zulkifli (Buddhist philosophy)- discuss the who different ‘non-Western’ philosophies with which they engage via different routes. we’ll end with an open Q&A!right before winter vac app’s & before a full year at Oxford where there are growing resources, this is right time to learn more or start to branch out!join on zoom!
Topic: Philiminality ‘non-Western’ Philosophy Q&A

Time: Nov 11, 2020 03:00 PM London…

Meeting ID: 893 8418 5477
Passcode: PhilimQ&A

Global Philosophy Graduate Workshop (Programme)

11 December 2019, 9am-5pm

Lecture Room, Faculty of Philosophy (Radcliffe Humanities)

We are delighted to announce the Programme for the Global Philosophy Graduate Workshop! Six graduate speakers from four different Faculties (Oriental Studies, Theology, DPIR, and Philosophy) will be presenting their work-in-progress research. The aim is to provide a platform for graduate students working on under-represented traditions in philosophy to present and develop their research across departmental divides, and to receive constructive feedback from a receptive audience.

REGISTRATION: Everyone is welcome to attend (lunch will be provided free of charge), but registration is required. Sign up here.

Organisers: Robin Brons, Lea Cantor, and Justin Holder

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Global Philosophy Graduate Workshop (Call for Abstracts)

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Philiminality Oxford invites graduate students from all faculties at the University of Oxford to present their ongoing research in non-Western or comparative philosophy at a work-in-progress workshop. The aim is to provide a platform for graduate students working on under-represented traditions in philosophy to present and develop their research across departmental divides, and to receive constructive feedback from a receptive audience.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES: Paper presentations should be between 30 and 45 minutes long, to be followed by a Q&A with attendees. Please note that presentations need not be polished or fully written out. They can be: a paper based on a thesis chapter, a close reading of a passage and preliminary interpretation thereof, or simply a self-contained paper you would like to get feedback on. If you would be interested in presenting, please email with your institutional affiliation in Oxford, a tentative title, and, if you have one, a brief abstract.

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Sunday, 10 November 2019

Organisers: Robin Brons, Lea Cantor, and Justin Holder

Q&Tea: So you want to study non-Western philosophy?

12 November 2019, 6-7pm

Common Room, Faculty of Philosophy (Radcliffe Humanities)

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This event jointly organised with PWIP (People for Womxn in Philosophy) is a chance for students Interested in non-Western thought not explored in their curriculum to seek advice about studying non-Western Philosophy at graduate level. As we start to broaden our curriculum, four graduate students will be available to chat over tea and treats to answer questions about the study of non-Western philosophy:

Robin Brons is doing a DPhil in Philosophy, with supervisors in the Philosophy and Theology/Religious Studies departments. He is researching Madhyamaka Buddhism and Pyrrhonian septicism, and what we can learn from dialogue between them.

Lea Cantor is a DPhil Student in Philosophy, with supervisors in the Philosophy and Oriental Studies Faculties. Her primary research interests are in classical Chinese philosophy (especially the Zhuangzi), early Greek philosophy (particularly Parmenides and Heraclitus), and comparative methodology.

Sihao Chew has a Bachelor’s degree in Chinese and Master’s degree in Philosophy. Currently, he likes to think of himself as studying Chinese Philosophy in the Faculty of Oriental Studies. He employs analytic tools in logic, philosophy of science, and philosophy of language to form an interpretative framework to analyse Neo-Confucian metaphysics.

Justin Holder is reading for a DPhil in Theology and Religion. His research focuses on the Madhyamaka school of Buddhist philosophy in the context of contemporary naturalism.

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South Asian Philosophy Reading Group: Aesthetics

Wednesdays on Even Weeks, 5:10-6:30pm

Ryle Room, Faculty of Philosophy (Radcliffe Humanities)


The South Asian Philosophy Reading Group jointly organised with Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) meets biweekly to read and discuss a short selection from a work by a philosopher of South Asia, ancient or contemporary. Michaelmas Term 2019 will focus on philosophers who worked in the field of aesthetics. Questions which concerned the ancient thinkers whom we will read include: What makes something, like a drama or a poem, aesthetic? How and why do we respond to literature in the way that we do? What is the nature of our aesthetic experience? Is all art pleasurable? In Week 8, we will depart from the ancient debates to read a contemporary Dalit essayist on aesthetics and social change. All faculty, graduate, and undergraduate students are welcome— no prior knowledge necessary.


Attendees are encouraged to do the readings before the meeting. If interested, please email Angela Vettikkal ( for readings.

Week 2. 23 October 2019

Selections from Ten Dramatic Forms of Dhanamjaya and Observations of Dhanika, c. 975

§4.1-4.5ab p. 157-160 in Sheldon Pollock, A Rasa Reader: Classical Indian Aesthetics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Week 4. 6 November 2019

Selections from Necklace for the Goddess of Language and Light on Passion of Bhoja, 1025-1055

§5.1-5.3, p. 115-116, and §1-12, p. 119-120 in Sheldon Pollock, A Rasa Reader: Classical Indian Aesthetics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Week 6. 20 November 2019

Selection from Mirror of Drama of Ramachandra and Gunachandra, c. 1200

§109 p. 241-242 in Sheldon Pollock, A Rasa Reader: Classical Indian Aesthetics. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016.

Week 8. 4 December 2019

D.R. Nagaraj, “Social Change in Kannada Fiction: A Comparative Study of a Dalit and Non-Dalit Classic,” in Flaming Feet and Other Essays, 232- 243. Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2011.

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Comparative Methodologies Discussion Group

Tuesdays in Odd Weeks (Michaelmas Term 2019), 7-9pm

 Ryle Room, Faculty of Philosophy (Radcliffe Humanities)

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This discussion group jointly organised with Minorities and Philosophy (MAP) aims to explore what comparative philosophy is, and how to do it. There is an increasing awareness of the value of dialogue between different traditions on a wide range of philosophical topics. However, there is a lack of consensus on what the aims of comparative philosophy are, and how it ought to be conducted.  Worries have been raised about the potential pitfalls of comparative work, such as a tendency to assume the primacy of one tradition over the other. But what would it mean to take a “balanced approach” in response to this worry? Is there an external standpoint from which we can do comparative philosophy? What, if anything, is global philosophy? The reading group will centre on four readings covering a range of traditions that will address these questions.

Readings list

Attendees are strongly encouraged to complete the readings before each meeting.

Week 1. 15 October 2019

Wimmer, Franz; et al. 2015. Symposium: How Are Histories of Non-Western Philosophies Relevant to Intercultural Philosophizing? Available at:

Week 3. 29 October 2019

Krishna, Daya. 2011. Comparative Philosophy. In Contrary Thinking: Selected Essays of Daya Krishna. Available on SOLO.

Week 5. 12 November 2019

Shun, Kwong-loi. 2009. Studying Confucian and Comparative Ethics: Methodological Reflections. Available on SOLO.

Week 7. 26 November 2019

Bello, A.G.A. 2004. Some Methodological Controversies in African Philosophy. In Kwasi Wiredu (ed.), A Companion to African Philosophy. Available on SOLO.

Organisers: Robin Brons, Lea Cantor, Sihao Chew, and Chong-Ming Lim

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Body, Mind and Spirit in Early China with Lisa Raphals

Monday 22 July 2019, 4 – 5pm

Lecture Room (2nd Floor), Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford

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Lisa Raphals (瑞麗) is a Professor of Chinese/Comparative Literature at the University of California, Riverside, with a focus on comparative philosophy, religion, history of science, and gender, as approaches to the cultures of early China and Classical Greece. (

This July, she will be delivering a talk on “Body, Mind, and Spirit in Early China: Perspectives from Medicine and Excavated Texts”. After Professor Raphals’ paper, there will be time for questions and discussion.


Recent debates over a perceived antimony between Chinese ‘holism’ and ‘Western’ dualism have renewed interest in questions of mind-body dualism in early Chinese thought. This talk attempts to address several problems in current discussion by turning to the evidence of medical literature and excavated texts. It argues against a problematic ‘mind-body’ binary that ignores the very separate roles of xin 心 (mind or heartmind) and shen 神 (spirit).

This paper uses medical and excavated texts to argue for a largely tripartite model of the self in early Chinese texts, at least up to the Han dynasty. In this tripartite model, the self is composed of body (shen 身, ti 體, xing 形), mind or heartmind (xin) and spirit (shen). I argue that there is a broad divergence between two views of a tripartite relation between body, mind and spirit in Warring States texts. One closely aligns mind and spirit, often in a hierarchically superior relation to the body. The other problematizes the relation between mind and spirit, and in some cases even aligns body and spirit in opposition to mind.”

[Cover Image: Lü Shoukun 呂壽琨, Zen (Chan 禪), ink on paper, 1972]

*Mini-Conference Announcement*

Queer Solidarity: Community, Minorities, and Role Models

Monday 13 May 2019

Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford, OX1 2HB, UK

Queer Solidarity Cover photo

Registration is now open for a mini-Conference on ‘Queer Solidarity: Community, Minorities, and Role Models’ jointly organised the Worcester College MCR and Philiminality Oxford. The event will begin at 5pm and end at 6:30pm, followed by an optional reception until 7:30pm.

Our three speakers will discuss the issue of queer solidarity, in particular the theoretical and practical issues surrounding the place of women and ethnic minorities within the queer community, the value (if any) of community itself, and the role (if any) of queer allies and role models.

– Taz Rasul (Director of Programmes of the LGBT+ national charity Just Like Us)
will give a perspective on the importance of queer role models within society and the queer community. Her experience with schools and young people will bring a practical focus to the discussion, talking about the organisation’s mission and the in-school Ambassador Programme. She’ll also bring her perspective as a minority ethnic woman in a field which is white male-dominated but changing.
– Rebecca Duke (Rhodes Scholar, University of Oxford Department of Politics and International Relations) is an MPhil Candidate in Political Theory with an academic background in psychology and philosophy. She is an advocate for the primary prevention of gender based violence and promotes the recognition of LGBTIQ+ rights. She has worked as a policy advisor in state and federal government in Australia, focusing on family violence and mental health policy. Rebecca will present a paper on the place (if any) that the theoretical notion of intersubjective respect has to say about solidarity in the queer community, both in terms of the theoretical and practical issues regarding the place of women and ethnic minorities within the queer community.
– Jared Field (Charles Perkins Scholar, University of Oxford Mathematical Institute)
is a member of the Gomeroi clan of the Kamilaroi nation reading for a D.Phil in Mathematical Biology at Balliol as a Charles Perkins scholar. Outside his studies, he has written for the Guardian and the Oxonian review on race and queerness. He will talk about the non-neutrality of silence in the face of racism, with a focus on the Oxford queer experience.

**The event is free, but REGISTRATION is required.**
To sign up, please complete the following Google Form:

Please note that we will be raising funds for the Worcester College MCR Charity Fund, which supports local, national, and international charities — among which Just Like Us. (Please bring cash if you wish to donate!)

The mini-Conference is organized with the generous support of the Worcester College MCR.

We look forward to seeing many of you!

Sam Brustad
LGBTQ+ Co-Officer and Equality & Diversity Rep
Worcester College, Oxford

Matteo Parisi
LGBTQ+ Co-Officer and Charity Rep – Worcester College, Oxford
Executive Officer, Science and Mathematics – Philiminality Oxford

Johann Go
Executive Officer, Political Philosophy – Philiminality Oxford
Worcester College, Oxford

Lea Cantor
President – Philiminality Oxford
Worcester College, Oxford

*Symposium Announcement*

Pluralising Philosophy: Learning From the Case of Chinese Thought 

Sunday 23 June 2019

Lecture Room (2nd Floor), Faculty of Philosophy, Radcliffe Observatory Quarter 555, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG

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There are increasing calls to pluralise philosophy: to look beyond the parochial, the colonial, the exclusive. This one-day symposium jointly organised by Minorities and Philosophy Oxford and Philiminality Oxford brings together three leading philosophers to explore the tensions within “canonical”/”Western” philosophy regarding the status of “non-Western” philosophies, with a particular focus on the case of Chinese thought.

Our speakers will address a number of questions – drawing on meta-philosophical, methodological, as well as historical considerations – to shed light on some of these tensions, and identify ways of moving forward. For instance, in what sense might “Western” philosophy be deemed parochial, and how recent is this phenomenon? What forms do attempts to pluralise philosophy take, and what are their payoffs and pitfalls? Moreover, how do philosophers pluralise philosophy in ways that do not further contribute to the marginalisation of both the traditions they draw upon and other traditions which they do not engage with? What are the assumptions made or rejected by those who debate the “legitimacy” of Chinese Philosophy? What are some of the concrete ways in which Chinese thought can shed new light on problems in contemporary “Western” philosophy?

The morning session will consist of three lectures (with time for questions) by our three invited speakers:

Prof. Robert Bernasconi – “Narrowing the Philosophical Canon around 1800: The Exclusion of Chinese Philosophy in Context”: The study of the history of the formation of the philosophical canon within European Universities has gained momentum over the last few years. Scrutiny has tended to focus on the first quarter of the nineteenth century during which time there was, especially in Germany, an intense debate over the place of Indian philosophy. Here the influence of Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy and of a certain Eurocentrism in narrowing the philosophical canon is much in evidence. In this paper I shift the focus to Chinese philosophy which follows a somewhat different pattern in part because its reception into scholarly discussion had taken place somewhat earlier. By contrasting the reception of Chinese and Indian philosophy, this paper offers a broader view on how philosophy came to be understood as specifically a Western enterprise.

Prof. Carine Defoort – “The Exclusion of Chinese Philosophy: “Ten Don’ts”, “Three Represents,” and “Eight Musts””:  The legitimacy of Chinese philosophy is a thorny topic that has returned in waves during the last decades. While it has been discussed from a wide variety of viewpoints, most debates focus either on the nature and quality of early Chinese master-texts or on contemporary Chinese scholarship in the field. One side of the issue usually remains out of view: the Western philosophers themselves, who lay the burden of proof almost exclusively with the Chinese masters or scholars. Instead of adding philosophical arguments to these debates, this contribution focuses on the backside of the moon. It addresses a variety of related topics in the form of fixed formulations: the “Ten Don’ts” warn against deep-grained tendencies that have often steered the legitimacy debate and are not innocent; the “Three Represents” accommodate a threefold typology of positions rejecting Chinese philosophy; and the “Eight Musts” insists on eight points that might be more relevant for the study of the Chinese masters than the label “philosophy.”

Prof. Bryan Van Norden – “Learning from Chinese Philosophy”: When Europeans first encountered Chinese Confucians, Daoists, and Buddhists, they immediately recognized them as serious philosophers. However, this attitude changed due to the influence of imperialism and pseudo-scientific racism, so that (beginning with Kant) Chinese philosophy was dismissed and banned from academic philosophy in the West. Recently, works like my Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto have challenged the status quo and demanded that we return to the cosmopolitan ideal of multicultural philosophy. This lecture provides several examples of the profound and distinct philosophical debates that existed in China on issues such as consequentialism, human nature, ethical egoism, relativism, and skepticism.

The afternoon session will bring together our three speakers in a moderated panel discussion, with plenty of time for Q&A.

*Lunch and coffee/tea will be provided free of charge, but registration is required.*

To register, follow the following link:

The Symposium is organized with the generous support of All Souls College, University of Oxford; Nanyang Technological University of Singapore; and the Aristotelian Society.

About our Speakers 

Robert Bernasconi is Edwin Erle Sparks Professor of Philosophy and African American Studies at the Pennsylvania State University. He is the editor of three journals: “Critical Philosophy of Race”, “Levinas Studies”, and “Eco-Ethica”. He has written two books on Heidegger and one on Sartre, as well as numerous papers including a number that raise questions about the role of such canonical philosophers as Locke, Kant, and Hegel with the development of new forms of racism.

Carine Defoort is Professor of Sinology at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) in Belgium. She is the editor of Contemporary Chinese Thought (Taylor & Francis, since 1997) and corresponding editor for Europe of China Review International (University of Hawaii, since 1994). She co-edited The Mozi as an Evolving Text: Different Voices in Early Chinese Thought (2013), and earlier volumes on Mencius, Xunzi, and Mozi in Dutch. Her research is focused on topics such as regicide, the power of naming, abdication, benefit, and the weighing metaphor. Another field of interest is the modern period in which early Chinese thought was interpreted, and its influence on our current understanding of the masters-texts. Research topics in this field have been debates concerning “legitimacy of Chinese philosophy,” Fu Sinian, and the modern portrayals of Mozi and Yang Zhu.

Bryan W. Van Norden is Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple Professor at Yale-NUS College (Singapore). He is also James Monroe Taylor Chair in Philosophy at Vassar College (USA), and Chair Professor in Philosophy in the School of Philosophy at Wuhan University (China). A recipient of Fulbright, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Mellon fellowships, Van Norden has been honored as one of The Best 300 Professors in the US by The Princeton Review. Van Norden is author, editor, or translator of nine books on Chinese and comparative philosophy, including Introduction to Classical Chinese Philosophy (2011), Readings in Later Chinese Philosophy: Han to the 20th Century (2014, with Justin Tiwald), Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy (2nd ed., 2005, with P.J. Ivanhoe), and most recently Taking Back Philosophy: A Multicultural Manifesto (2017).

The Organisers,

Lea Cantor and Sihao Chew
Philiminality Oxford

Maya Krishnan and Chong-Ming Lim
Minorities and Philosophy Oxford 

*Conference Announcement*

 Curing through Questioning: Philosophy as Therapy Across Ancient Traditions and Modern Applications

Friday 1st June & Saturday 2nd June 

Worcester College, Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Oxford, OX1 2HB, ​United Kingdom

zen cover photo

Looking back to the ancient world, a common thread connecting a wide range of traditions is an inherent link between theoretical questioning and therapeutic practices. The aim of this Conference is twofold. First, to bridge the purported gulf between theoretical philosophy and its corresponding practical aspects either in leading a good life in general or in specific therapeutic applications. Secondly, to highlight the transformational power of philosophical practices, and to illustrate how such practices have been deeply embedded in a wide variety of traditions throughout history.

This conference calls for an interdisciplinary approach. By drawing on ideas from different academic fields that traditionally do not engage with one another—including Philosophy, Classics, Oriental Studies, Theology, and Psychology—we will tap into the cultural and historical resources necessary to examine the philosophical foundations of therapy from various perspectives. As rigorous comparative studies are starting to show, bringing together ideas from around the globe can be eye-opening, insofar as such ideas can be mutually illuminating. We thus hope to reconnect the development of therapeutic practices to their theoretical underpinnings across different cultures.

Our invited speakers are: Amber D. Carpenter (Yale-NUS College), Jessica Frazier (University of Oxford), Barbara Jikai Gabrys (Zen Master in the Hakuin-Inzan line of the Rinzai tradition; University of Oxford), Christopher Gill (University of Exeter), Livia Kohn (Boston University), Karyn Lai (University of New South Wales), Graham Parkes (University of Vienna), Graham Priest (City University of New York), and Katja Vogt (Columbia University).

To consult the full programme, see

The invited speakers’ abstracts can be found here:

To register for the Conference:

Follow this link: This will take you to the Oxford Store conference page – to register click the ‘book course’ button. The 15 pound registration fee will include coffee & tea, light refreshments and lunch on both days.

*Call for Abstracts* (The Deadline has now passed)

Looking back to the ancient world, a common thread connecting a wide range of traditions across the globe is an inherent link between theoretical questioning and the development of therapeutic practices. We welcome abstracts which address either of the following themes: 

  •   Theoretical inquiry and its implications for practical life in any ancient tradition, addressing questions such as: 
    •  What can ancient traditions across the world teach us about the impact of philosophical questioning on leading a good life?
    •  How is challenging common beliefs or apparent theoretical certainties conducive to human flourishing? 
  •       The ancient theoretical foundations of contemporary therapeutic practices, including (but not restricted to) psychotherapy, cognitive therapy, yoga, meditation, Tai-Chi, Chinese Medicine as well as traditional healing practices more generally. 

We invite abstracts from graduate students and early career researchers (within five years of completion of their degree) suitable for 20-minute presentations. Please submit abstracts as email attachments to by 1stMarch 2019. Abstracts should be submitted as .pdf files and should not exceed 500 words. Please write ‘Conference Abstract Submission’ in the subject line of your email and include your name, departmental affiliation, email address, and the title of your paper (as well as the year in which your PhD was awarded in the case of early career researchers) in your email. Abstracts should be prepared for blind review, so please ensure that your abstract is free from any identifying personal details.

The Conference is organized with the generous support of the Hinton Clarendon Fellowship, Worcester College, the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Oxford, the Marc Sanders Foundation and Minorities and Philosophy (MAP).

More information can be found on the conference website: 

The Conference Organizers

Robin Brons, Lea Cantor, Sihao Chew, Sybilla Pereira and Alesia Preite.

Trinity Term Social

Thursday 17th May at 8pm at The Grapes

We hope you’ve enjoyed our panel events this term! Do you have any feedback you would like to share with us? Do you want to know more about how to get involved? Come join the committee for a few drinks, some stimulating exchange of ideas, and the inevitable discussion of the current state of academic philosophy. As ever, we welcome your thoughts and suggestions on the mission of Philiminality!

View the Facebook event here.

Should Water Have Rights?

Tuesday 8th May at 5pm – 7pm

Lecture Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building

water rights

This panel discussion will explore the “nature” and status of water in relation to the concepts of water security and water governance. Practitioners and scholars in the fields of Geography, Law, Political Philosophy and Theology will address relevant aspects of development discourse, environmental ethics and the theory of justice.

Our confirmed speakers:

  • Alice Evatt (DPhil Candidate, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford) will provide conceptual background about the possibility that water can have rights.
  • Prof. David Bradley (Ross Professor of Tropical Hygiene, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London; Department of Zoology, University of Oxford) has extensive experience as a physician, communicable disease epidemiologist and zoologist in East Africa, Asia as well as the UK, which has informed his advisory roles on public health and research policy. His contribution to the panel will focus on water as an entity in relation to water security and the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Dr. Kevin Grecksch (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Oxford) will give a socio-legal perspective on whether water should have rights. He will argue that our relationship with water is primarily one of rights and regulations. For millennia, humans have created rights and regulations around water, either to protect it and/or to use it. Yet, by doing so we treat water merely as a property. However, recent cases in New Zealand, India and Australia have seen granting rights of personhood to rivers, i.e. rivers can act as a person in court. This could potentially hold wide-ranging consequences for how we manage water resources and how we value water in general. touch on water governance, climate change adaptation, governance of societal transformation processes, property rights and the governance of natural resources, sustainability and ecological economics.
  • Stevan Veljkovic (DPhil Candidate, Faculty of Theology and Religion, Oxford) will ask “Why rights?” and argue the following: Human rights trump – liberal order rests upon them, and no alternatives exist within the pale of Western sensibilities. Historical contingency is to thank for this consensus, although it is thought to be something natural and its arising to have been foregone. The very idea of recognizing water’s rights suggests the historical trajectory on which the order consensus lies – and its tensions.

Each speaker will speak for ten minutes. This will be followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A.

View the Facebook event here.

Grounding: Notions of Essence and Dependence Across Traditions

Friday 4th May at 6pm – 8pm

TORCH Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building


What is/are the logical form(s) for grounding claims? What theoretical work is grounding asked to do (what are its applications)? How diverse are the concepts of grounding? Does it make sense to gather them under one title, or are there natural distinctions to be drawn between uses in different traditions and contexts? This talk will seek to shed light on all of these questions, drawing on perspectives from Buddhist, Hindu, Greek and contemporary metaphysics.

Our panelists:

  • Ben Brast-McKie (DPhil Candidate, Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford) will present elements from a contemporary development of grounding, inspired primarily
    by Kit Fine. He will contrast relational and operational accounts of ground, focusing on the latter. He will then draw on some simple examples in order to clarify the theoretical role which grounding may aim to serve. He will conclude by situating ground within the historical development of logics for material and strict implication, comparing the corresponding accounts of propositions.
  • Prof. Michail Peramatzis (Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford) will briefly discuss passages from Aristotle’s Categories and Metaphysics, having in mind a possible objection arising from Jessica Wilson’s recent work, i.e. that there is no theoretical work to be done by any general notion of grounding. Specifically, if Aristotle thinks that there is a generic notion of priority or grounding, then he might be vulnerable to this sort of objection. He will attempt to reply to Wilson by claiming that even if Aristotle has a generic notion or priority/grounding, still there is some work (if not the whole work) to be done by it.
  • Dr Jessica Frazier (Centre for Hindu Studies; Faculty of Theology and Religion, Oxford) will consider the treatment of the idea of an ultimate ground for everything the world contains in the Vedanta school of Indian thought. After presenting how initial rough conceptions of ground led to implicit differences about what constitutes ontological dependence and independence, she will consider the way notions of substance and inherence gave way to recognition of the problematic character of ‘ontological substrate’ notions, pointing to cases in which ‘ontological ground’ was refined into something more like ‘necessary precondition’ – generating a very different ontological model of reality.
  • Prof. Jan Westerhoff (Professor of Buddhist Philosophy, Faculty of Theology and Religion, Oxford) will discuss anti-foundationalism in Madhyamaka, with a special focus on the fact that this is not just an ontological anti-foundationalism (no ultimately real things) but also a semantic anti-foundationalism (no ultimately true propositions).

Each speaker will give a concise presentation. This will be followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A.

View the Facebook event here.

Perspectives on Democracy

Friday 27th April 2018 at 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Seminar Room (Third Floor), Radcliffe Humanities Building

philim democracy cover

How is democracy conceived in different traditions, and how is it valued in each of them? This panel discussion will attempt to shed light on these questions, honing various strands of global intellectual history, postcolonial theory and contemporary politics.

Our confirmed panelists are:

  • Prof. Jonathan Wolff (Blavatnik Professor of Public Policy, Oxford) will consider democracy and Marxism;
  • Prof. Nicholas Bunnin (Institute for Chinese Studies, Oxford) will focus on the relevance of Chinese political philosophy (especially Xunzi) to democratic theory;
  • Prof. Karma Nabulsi (Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations, DPIR, Oxford) will discuss relevant aspects of political theory in relation to Palestine;
  • Puneet Dhaliwal (DPhil candidate, Department of Politics and International Relations, Oxford) will address democracy and (anti)Eurocentrism, and consider postcolonial inflections of Marxist theory in relation to global democratic politics.

Each speaker will give a concise presentation. This will be followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A.


View the Facebook event here.

Descartes and Beyond: On the Mind-Body Problem

Friday 9th March 2018 at 5pm

Seminar Room (Third Floor), Radcliffe Humanities Building

descartes event

How should we understand Descartes’ mind-body dualism? Can the scientific and technological advancements of his day shed light on his metaphysical assumptions? How did Leibniz, Stahl and Amo challenge his dualism? Who was the West African-born Anton Amo, and how did he come to play a role in key debates of the German Enlightenment?

Join us for our first panel discussion to hear responses to all of these questions. The event will gather speakers from four different universities, and engage with perspectives from the history of science, theology as well as philosophy.

  • Prof. Gonzalo Rodriguez-Pereyra (University of Oxford) will discuss René Descartes’ (1596-1650) account of the distinction between the mind and body.
  • Prof. Hanoch Ben-Yami (Central European University) will argue that technology in Descartes’ day shaped much of his thought, including key aspects of his mind-body dualism.
  • Prof. Justin Smith (University of Paris 7 – Denis Diderot) will address German responses and reactions to Cartesian dualism, with specific reference to Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz (1646-1716) and Georg Ernst Stahl (1659-1734).
  • Victor Emma-Adamah (University of Cambridge) will discuss the important contributions of the West African-born Anton Wilhelm Amo (1703-1756) to the Leibniz-Stahl debates regarding the mind-body problem.

Each speaker will give a concise presentation. This will be followed by a moderated panel discussion and Q&A.

View the Facebook event here.

Launch Party

Join us on Thursday 1st February at 7:30 pm to celebrate our launch at The Grapes, Oxford. Come and meet the committee for a few drinks, some stimulating exchange of ideas, and discuss the current state of academic philosophy. We welcome your thoughts and suggestions on the mission of Philiminality!

Past Events at Philiminality Cambridge:

A Meta-philosophical Discussion on Form, October 2017

This talk gathered speakers from four different faculties, covering thinkers from three continents and spanning 2500 years. How can we use form to achieve our philosophical goals? How have aphorisms and fragments been used in different philosophical traditions? What makes all of this work philosophical? Would these thinkers have used Twitter?

Conceptions of human nature from Latin America to the Middle East, March 2017

What does being part of nature mean for humanity, and for how we approach the environment? Can we both be part of the world and remove ourselves from it in thinking about it? What ethical issues arise from our relationship to nature?

Essence and Existence from Antiquity to ModernityFebruary 2017

This panel discussion explored the distinction between essence and existence from Antiquity (especially Aristotle) through to the Twentieth-Century (in e.g. French existentialism). Questions of translation and transmission were also considered, honing philosophical traditions in Ancient Greek, Latin, Persian, Classical Arabic and French.

Ancient conceptions of being and becoming in India, China and Greece, November 2016

What is the nature of ultimate reality according to philosophies in ancient China, India, and Greece? Dr Barua and Dr Hedley of the Divinity Faculty, Prof. Betegh of the Classics Faculty, and Prof. Sterckx of the Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies discussed the concepts of unity, being and becoming in the global ancient context.

Perspectives on Existentialism, October 2016

An inaugural event which explored the seemingly disparate perspectives on existentialism of a theologian, an expert on Twentieth-Century French thought, and postgraduate students researching feminism and post-colonialism.