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2010 Conference on Issues in Modern Philosophy:
The Metaphysics of Modality


Friday, November 12, 2010 – Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Seventh NYU Conference on Issues in Modern Philosophy

New York University
Kimmel Center, 60 Washington Square South
Room 914

Registration is available here.

The New York University Department of Philosophy will host the seventh in its series of conferences on issues in the history of modern philosophy on November 12 and 13, 2010. Each conference in the series examines the development of a central philosophical problem from early modern philosophy to the present, exploring the evolution of formulations of the problem and of approaches to resolving it. By examining the work of philosophers of the past both in historical context and in relation to contemporary philosophical thinking, the conferences allow philosophy’s past and present to illuminate one another.

Friday, November 12
1:00–2:00 Check-in
2:00–4:00 First session: Spinoza
Speaker Edwin Curley (University of Michigan)
“The Metaphysics of Modality in Spinoza”
Commentator Martin Lin (Rutgers University)
4:30–6:30 Second session: Leibniz
Speaker Samuel Newlands (University of Notre Dame)
“Leibniz on the Ground of Possibility”
Commentator Michael Griffin (Central European University)
6:30–7:30 Reception
Saturday, November 13
10:00–12:00 Third session: Kant
Speaker Rae Langton (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
“Contingency and Humility”
Commentator Nick Stang (University of Miami)
2:00–4:00 Fourth session: Hegel
Speaker Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer (Universität Leipzig)
“Hegel on Reality as a Modal Notion”
Commentator Michael Forster (University of Chicago)
4:30–6:30 Fifth session: Contemporary Philosophy
Speaker Robert Brandom (University of Pittsburgh)
“Modal Expressivism and Modal Realism: Together Again”
Commentator Karen Bennett (Cornell University, visiting at New York University)

A pdf version of the program can be downloaded here. Questions may be directed to

Conference Directors: Béatrice Longuenesse, John Richardson, and Don Garrett.

Past conferences

2009 “The Foundations of Morality”
2008 “Skepticism”
2007 “Aesthetic Judgment”
2006 “Understanding Space and Time”
2005 “Reason and the Emotions in Modern Philosophy”
2004 “Self-consciousness and Personal Identity in Modern Philosophy”