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Seeskin Conference Program

Religious Philosophers, Philosophical Spirits

A conference in honor of Ken Seeskin on the occasion of his retirement.

Unless otherwise noted, the conference will be held in the John Evans Alumni Center.


Tuesday, May 5

9:45 Welcome: Cristina Lafont (chair, philosophy department) 

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Session 1

 Chair: Barry Wimpfheimer (Northwestern)

            James Diamond (Waterloo), “Maimonides’ Legal Code: A Particularistic Bridge Between Universal Origins                    and Universal Ends”

             Daniel Frank (Purdue), “The Structure and Purpose of the Guide

             Roslyn Weiss (Lehigh), "Socrates and Maimonides on Serving a Distant God"

1 -2:15 p.m. Lunch

2:15 -4:15 p.m.  Session 2

Chair: Sandy Goldberg (Northwestern)

             Judith Baskin (Oregon), "Maimonides and the Ladies: Gender and Rationality"

             Josef Stern (Chicago), "Maimonides, the Falāsifa, and the Kalam on Certainty and the Certainty of                                 Prophecy”

4:15-4:30 p.m. Break

 4:30 - 5:30 p.m. Session 3

Chair: Helen Thompson (Northwestern)

            Steven Nadler (Wisconsin), “Spinoza versus Aristotle on Friendship”

6:30 p.m.  Dinner

Wednesday, May 6

 9-10 a.m. Session 1

This session will be held in Kresge 1-515.

 Chair: Stephanie Brenzel (Toronto)

             Menachem Kellner (Israel) [via skype], "The Doctrine of the Chosen People: Mordecai Kaplan, Isaac                                Deutscher and George Steiner vs. Maimonides, Hermann Cohen and Kenneth Seeskin"

 10:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m. Session 2

 Chair: Laurie Zoloth (Chicago)

            Stefano Perfetti (Pisa), “Meaning inhabits the historicity of languages: Walter Benjamin on Judaism and                      translation”

             Mira Balberg (UCSD), “The Use and Abuse of Prophecy in Rabbinic Literature”

12:30-2 p.m. Lunch

2-5 p.m. Session 3

 Chair: Regina Schwartz (Northwestern)

                        Adriano Fabris (Pisa), “Religious Experience at Stake: Philosophy of Religion and Interreligious                                        Dialogue”

                          David Novak (Toronto), “How Can a Philosopher Speak of God?”

                           Michael Morgan (Indiana), “Revelation, Dialogue, and Authority in Twentieth-Century Jewish                                              Philosophy”

5-7 p.m. Buffet dinner in John Evans Center

7:30 p.m. Ken’s keynote talk/Klutznik lecture, Pick-Staiger concert hall

            Followed by dessert reception

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