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Call for Abstracts: The Second Annual St Andrews Graduate Conference in Ancient Philosophy

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Call for Abstracts

The Second Annual St Andrews Graduate Conference in Ancient Philosophy

The Soul in Ancient Philosophy

11-12 October 2019

We are delighted to announce our upcoming graduate conference on ‘The Soul in Ancient Philosophy’ taking place at the University of St Andrews, Scotland on the 11th and 12th of October 2019.

The keynote lectures will be delivered by Professor Dorothea Frede (Hamburg) and Professor Hendrik Lorenz (Princeton).

The soul has been of central importance in the ancient philosophical tradition, from the earliest Greek thinkers to the Neoplatonists. For ancient philosophers, the soul helps to account not only for various kinds of life on earth, such as human, animal, or even plant-life, but also the heavenly movements of the stars and planets. While the soul is often viewed as a principle of motion, in humans it is associated with a wide range of important phenomena, such as cognition, love, death, reason, emotions, and feelings. Moreover, the soul is sometimes seen to have a life of its own apart from the body, so that a distinction can be drawn between embodied and disembodied existence and experience. In this way, the soul naturally brings together a range of different philosophical concerns, including epistemology, ethics, psychology, the natural sciences, cosmology, and eschatology.

The soul has received considerable attention in recent scholarship, and new studies have advanced the discussion in a variety of directions. Some have focussed on the world-soul, others on the partitions of the soul (and on its ‘non-rational’ parts), others on the soul and emotions, and others on the soul as self-motion. These are all prominent aspects of the soul in particular contexts, but rather than treating any single field of enquiry in isolation, our intention is to bring together young researchers from different areas of ancient philosophy who work on various concepts of soul, with the aim of producing a more holistic perspective.

We invite graduate students and recent graduates (who have completed their PhD degree up to 2 years before the submission deadline) to submit extended abstracts on any topic on the soul in ancient philosophy. The final papers should be suitable for a presentation of no more than 40 minutes followed by 20 minutes of questions and discussion.

Deadline for submission:
Abstracts are due by the 15th of July. Candidates will be notified of the outcome by mid-August.

Submission requirements:

We seek extended abstracts of between 800 and 1000 words. Only one abstract per person will be accepted. Abstracts should be suitable for blind review and submitted through EasyChair at the following link:


The conference is organised jointly by current PhD students and recent graduates both of Philosophy and the School of Classics. The organisers are: Manlio Fossati, Andrés Hernández Villarreal, Lorenzo Lazzarini, Julia Pfefferkorn, Wolfgang Sattler, and Matthew Shelton.

Conference Information:

The conference will take place at the University of St Andrews on the 11th and 12th of October 2019 in the Department of Philosophy, Edgecliffe. Travel bursaries of up to £100 will be available for each postgraduate speaker. We would be happy to arrange childcare for speakers who would not otherwise be able to attend the conference. Attendance is free of charge.

For further details, please see the conference website or e-mail Manlio Fossati or Matthew Shelton at ‘’.

We subscribe to the British Philosophical Association/Society for Women in Philosophy (UK) Good Practice Scheme.

This conference has been made possible through generous funding from the Scots Philosophical Association, the Classical Association, CAPOD, the Analysis Trust, the Aristotelian Society, and the University of St Andrews.



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