Venue: University of Helsinki, Main building/Small Hall (Pieni juhlasali\Lilla festsalen), Fabianinkatu 33, 4th floor, 5 June 2018, 16.15-18.00 (4.15-6 pm).


“Building upon G. H. von Wright’s classification and analysis of the varieties of goodness, I shall sketch the natural framework for the possibility of moral value and of the virtues. This includes the broad character of the world we inhabit and some of the characteristic features of human beings. These constitute the biological and psychological framework in which values and value concepts unfold. I examine the constraints upon what can constitute a morality for creatures such as ourselves.”

Peter Hacker is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Kent and Emeritus Research Fellow of St. John’s College, Oxford. He is the author, e.g., of Insight and Illusion, Wittgenstein’s Place in Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy, The Passions: A Study of Human Nature and four Analytical Commentaries on the Philosophical Investigations (two together with G.P. Baker). He has also co- authored several books on neuroscience and philosophy.


The Georg Henrik von Wright Lecture is funded by a donation to the University of Helsinki made by the von Wright family in 2013. It is intended as a recurring event with the purpose of promoting research and debate relating to the philosophical work of the Finnish philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright (1916–2003).

Additional information is provided by Bernt Österman, Curator of the von Wright and Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Helsinki (WWA).
bernt.Osterman at

The Third Georg Henrik von Wright Lecture: Professor Cora Diamond, “Von Wright on Wittgenstein in Relation to His Times”, May 18th 2016, Helsinki


Venue: University of Helsinki, Main building/Small Hall (Pieni juhlasali\Lilla festsalen), Fabianinkatu 33, 4th floor, May 18th 2016, 17.00-19.00 (5-7 pm). 



Von Wright was profoundly interested in Wittgenstein’s attitude to his times, and in how that attitude was related to his philosophy.  Professor Diamond’s lecture picks up themes from von Wright’s discussion of these issues, and brings out the importance of the deep conflict within Wittgenstein’s conception of philosophy in the Tractatus. An understanding of that conflict enables us to see both constancy and change in Wittgenstein’s attitude to his times. 


Professor Cora Diamond

Cora Diamond is University Professor and Kenan Professor of Philosophy, emerita at the University of Virginia. She is the author of The Realistic Spirit: Wittgenstein, Philosophy, and the Mind and the editor of Wittgenstein's Lectures on the Foundations of Mathematics, Cambridge, 1939, and has written numerous papers on topics in philosophy of language and ethics, and on the work of Wittgenstein and Frege.


The Georg Henrik von Wright Lecture 

The Georg Henrik von Wright Lecture is funded by a donation to the University of Helsinki made by the von Wright family 2013. It is intended as a recurring event with the purpose of promoting research and debate relating to the philosophical work of the Finnish philosopher Georg Henrik von Wright (1916–2003).

Additional information is provided by Bernt Österman, curator of the von Wright and Wittgenstein Archives at the University of Helsinki (WWA).

Bernt.Osterman at

For other events of the von Wright centennial year, see

Annemie Halsema (Professor, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Philosophy),


“The Subject of Critique. Ricoeur in Dialogue with Feminist Philosophers”


Time: 2.2.2016 14-16

Place: University of Helsinki, Topelia building, lecture hall D112

Street address: Unioninkatu 38


Paul Ricoeur is one of the most important philosophical anthropologists of the 20th century. He develops an extensive notion of the self from different sources: the analytical discussion about personal identity, contemporary theories of narrativity, classical philosophical sources, such as Aristotle, and contemporary phenomenology and hermeneutics. The notion of the self also is one of the central points of debate in feminist theory. Yet, feminists seldom relate to Ricoeur’s philosophy of the self.


This paper aims to show the relevance of his notion of the self for postmodern feminist theory, but also to critically assess it. By bringing Ricoeur’s “self” into dialogue with Braidotti’s, Irigaray’s and Butler’s conceptions of the subject, it shows that both notions are close in that the self is are articulated into language, embodied and not fully conscious of itself. In the course of the argument, the major point of divergence also comes to light, namely, that Ricoeur considers discourse to be a laboratory for thought experiments, while the feminist thinkers consider discourse to be normative, restrictive and exclusive. In the second part of the paper the possibility of critique and change are further developed. Ricoeur does not rule out critique, rather interpretation includes distanciation and critique. Finally, his notion of productive imagination explains how new identifications become possible.


More information about Christina Research Seminar:

Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir: Reading Irigaray and Butler in the Light of Nietzsche´s Philosophy of the Body

Lecture at Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, meeting room second floor, Thursday October 29, 16.15-18.

Luce Irigaray claims that the question of sexual difference is the most important question of our times. The pertinent problems of our  global world are for her based in this question. Judith Butler has been an influential thinker for the politics of difference that have been especially central for contemporary leftist, liberal politics. Both Butler and Irigaray have the body as a focal point of their philosophies, and both are influenced by Nietzsche's philosophy of the body. In her lecture Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir will raise and discuss the following questions: How is Nietzsche´s philosophy of the body and sexual difference reflected in the works of Irigaray and Butler? How does their Nietzschean philosophical background make apparent the tension between Irigarays difference feminism and Butler´s queer theory? Is Butler´s theory in effect not good for women, like Nussbaum argues? Or basically mostly important for human rights battles? And is Irigaray´s difference feminism outdated essentialism or the most radical feminist position within contemporary philosophy? Is her idea of the love of the sexes a viable vision for feminist philosophy and politics?


Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir is professor of philosophy at the University of Iceland who held the Erkko Professorship at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies in 2014-2015.

She has published on Nietzsche, Beauvoir, Arendt, feminist philosophy, philosophy of the body and nature, and women in the history of philosophy. She is one of the founders of the United Nations University Program on Gender Equality Training and Studies, and chair of the gender committee of FISP.

Sigridur Thorgeirsdottir belongs to a group of feminist philosophers from the Universities of Jyväskylä, Iceland, Oslo and Aalborg who will be running four summer schools in feminist philosophy in 2016-2017 (with a grant from Erasmus). This group was also involved in the organization of the recent conference on Women in the History of Philosophy last June at the University of Helsinki,

A renowned philosopher, professor Michael Devitt (City University of New York) will give a talk: "Justifying Scientific Realism". Mon 14.9.2015 14.15-16.00 Pinni B4115

Lisa Adkins, Professor Newcastle University Australia / FiDiPro professor, University of Tampere & University of Turku


Time: 24.3.2015 14-16

Place: University of Helsinki, Topelia building, lecture hall D112

Street address: Unioninkatu 38

Title of presentation: What Can Money Do? Feminist Theory in Austere Times


What can money do? Can it be put to work to address deepening forms of social and economic inequality associated with the financial crisis, recession and still unfolding politics of austerity? Can we have faith in money as an injustice remedying substance in a crisis ridden and yet still thoroughly financialized reality? While the latter scenario is implied in recent feminist calls to redistribute resources to redress widening socio-economic inequalities under austerity, in this talk I suggest that such a redistributive logic fails to account for the shifting capacities of resources, including the capacities of money. To track these shifting capacities, I revisit the demands of the 1970s women’s liberation movement and especially the assumptions at play in these demands that money both measure and distribute justice. While these assumptions were arguably politically efficacious in that moment, in the contemporary present pervasive financialization has involved a material transformation to the capacities of money, a transformation which, I will suggest, leaves its justice distributing potential in doubt. This talk therefore not only calls for careful exploration of the capacities of resources in analyses of crisis, recession and austerity but also for feminist theory to rethink redistributive justice in the light of such transformations. Central to these considerations is money in the wages form.

More information and upcoming lectures:

Guest lecture by Robert Leventhal


Welcome to the guest lecture by Associate Professor Robert Leventhal (The College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, USA)


“Making the Case: Psychological Case Histories and German Literature, 1750-1830” on Friday 27 March 2015 at 12-14, Jäntere seminar room (E121), Minerva, 1st floor, Kaivokatu 12, Turku.


The lecture is organised by The Romantic Era Research Group (RERG) and the Department of Cultural History.


Robert Leventhal received his Ph.D. in German Literature and Thought from Stanford University. He has taught at the University of California at Santa Cruz, Washington University in St. Louis, and the University of Virginia prior to William and Mary. His research is currently focused on the emergence of the psychological case history at the crossroads between literature and medicine 1750-1830, on which he is completing a book Making the Case: Psychological Case Histories and the Emergence of Modern German Literature. His other project concerns the Spinoza-Renaissance in Germany, 1750-1800, in which he is focused on Herder's early Spinoza reception and studies 1768-1778, a transcription of the "Blue Notebooks," and Herder's Gott, einige Gespraeche (1787). He has written on G.E. Lessing, J.G. Herder, F. Schlegel, Kant,  Karl Philipp Moritz, Marcus Herz, Kafka, Thomas Bernhard, Wim Wenders, Jewish Identity and Community in Munich, and, most recently, the birth of Kriegsarzneywissenschaft (War Medicine) in Germany, 1700-1763 in Stefanie Stockhorst, ed., Krieg und Frieden (Wehrhahn, 2014). Forthcoming articles include "The Jew as Respondent, Confidant, and Proxy: Marcus Herz and Immanuel Kant, 1770-1797" in a volume entitled On the Word of a Jew: Oaths, Testimonies, and the Nature of Trust (Oxford: The Littman Library,  2016)  and "Friedrich Schlegel's Lessing and the Enlightenment," in Johannes Endres, ed., Friedrich-Schlegel-Handbuch (Stuttgart: Metzler, 2015).


Dr. Oliver Belcher (University of Oulu)

"Objective Violence: War and the World Viewed"


On Wednesday, 25 March 2015, 15:00-16:30

Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40), Sali 13

The discussant is Dr. Sergei Prozorov (Department of Political and Economic Studies).


This paper examines how U.S. military visual epistemologies shifted when computational maps were introduced in the Vietnam War. Computational mapping enabled not only a movement away from traditional forms of manual cartography, but marked the emergence of novel forms of interpretation into the U.S. military due to the "higher resolution" images, namely a reifying discourse of "precision," as well as ontological claims that Vietnamese and military social space was "networked." I look closely at the U.S. military's Hamlet Evaluation System (HES), an ambitious automated data collection system launched in January 1967 that was used to geographically survey, catalogue, calculate, and measure population patterns and trends in the villages and hamlets of South Vietnam. During its time (1967-1975), the HES was the largest geographical information systems (GIS) database ever compiled. My focus in the presentation is on the techno-material practices that made the HES and its attendant ways of seeing possible, specifically the rise of new post-war disciplines of the body that became integral for automation machine use (e.g., anthropometrics, ergonomics, and human factors research). Following the work of philosopher Theodore Schatzki, the operating principle in the paper is that techno-material practices are the site where understanding is structured and intelligibility articulated. Thus, the paper concludes with the claim that it is impossible to understand late-modern modes of violence and biopolitics without accounting for the paradigmatic shifts inaugurated by mid-century computation, as well as its accompanying machine-body arrangements.

Oliver Belcher (PhD, University of British Columbia, 2013) is a postdoctoral researcher at the RELATE Center of Excellence, Department of Geography, University of Oulu. His research examines the interrelationships between late-modern war, experience, aesthetics, and technology. He has written widely on the U.S. wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vietnam, as well as contemporary conflicts in the Middle East. He is currently writing a book manuscript titled “Contortions: Designing the Military Body for Machine Use, 1945-1971”.

For further information on this seminar series, please refer to the seminar website:


If you would like to be added to the seminar mailing list, please contact the seminar coordinator: Caroline Werner, caroline.werner at

Erasmus-opettaja Dan O'Brien (Oxford Brookes) pitää torstaina esitelmän filosofian tutkijaseminaarissa klo 14 (Pinni B4141), Tampereen yliopiston Pinni B-rakennus. Danin otsikko on "Hume on Education". Abstrakti on seuraava:

Hume claims early in the Treatise that “education . . . [is] disclaim’d by philosophy, as a fallacious ground of assent to any opinion” (THN and that it is “never…recognized by philosophers” ( These, on the face of it, are odd claims. Surely education is a good way of acquiring beliefs. This paper offers an interpretation of these intriguing claims. Two key questions concern what exactly Hume is referring to when he talks of “education”, and of “philosophy” and “philosophers”.

Esitelmän jälkeen on normaalisti vastaanotto kahvihuoneessa.

Tervetuloa! Tilaisuus on avoin kaikille kiinnostuneille!



You are cordially invited to attend our next seminar session with Prof. John Meyer (Stanford University) "Global Diffusion"


On Tuesday, 3 March 2015, 14:15-15:45 (refreshments from 14:00)

University main building (Unioninkatu 34), Auditorium XIV

The discussant is Prof. Henri Vogt (University of Turku).



Changes in world culture create contextual conditions increasing cross-national diffusion and structuring its character. Scientization disciplines the natural and social environments. Human empowerment and rights norms create a population of actors with much (standardized) agency. And an expanded (and standardized) educational system now at the center of social stratification everywhere links empowered humans with a common action frame. As a consequence, collective mobilizations of attitudes, opinions, and actions occur on an increasingly global scale. Institutionalized, this turns into a global expansion of formal organization in both domestic and international society. Both conflict and cooperation can readily shift to a global scale.

John W. Meyer is Professor of Sociology (and, by courtesy, Education), emeritus, at Stanford. He has contributed to organizational theory, comparative education, and the sociology of education, developing sociological institutional theory. Since the 1970s, he has studied the impact of global society on national states and societies. More recently, he completed a collaborative study of worldwide science and its national effects and a project on the impact of globalization on organizational structures. He now studies the world human rights regime, world curricula in mass and higher education, and the worldwide expansion of formal organization.

Please see the seminar website for the full biography of Prof. Meyer:


As refreshment will be served, we kindly ask you to confirm your participation by sending an email to the seminar coordinator: Caroline Werner, caroline.werner at helsinki.

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