Appel à communication : « The Enlightenment of the Senses » (Calgary, 6 mars 2015)

Watteau, Le Rêve de l'artiste, 1707-19, Collection privée
For its third symposium, the Enlightenment Group at Mount Royal University invites paper propositions on the enlightenment of the senses. 
This symposium is also open to undergraduate and graduate students.
The publication of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding in 1690 rejuvenated the relationship between thought and senses by rejecting the concept of innate ideas and establishing sense experience as the basis of knowledge. While the senses were no longer seen as the cause of errors or illusions, this new empiricism was difficult to reconcile with long privileged themes such as the nature of the soul and of the real essence of things. Voltaire and others would make use of those tensions in their critiques of orthodox theology. The work of writers such as Condillac would prolong the effect of Locke’s empiricism throughout the eighteenth century.
Given the influence of this epistemological revolution in Europe across philosophy, science, literature and the arts, this symposium aims at examining the notion of sensualism in the Enlightenment through the lens of various disciplines in order to map out the similarities and the differences in the reception and application of sensualism in the Enlightenment world.

Topics may include, but are not limited to :

  • Empiricism and science
  • Arts and senses
  • Sensualism and literature
  • Senses and philosophy
  • Taste and sensibility
  • Social dynamics of sensibility and taste

Please submit abstracts of 250 words by January 30, 2015 to Antoine Eche ( )
STUDENTS : submit your abstract by February 17, 2015.

The Enlightenment Group is an interdisciplinary group of MRU scholars engaged in the study of the Eighteenth Century:

The Enlightenment of the SensesThird Symposium, Mount Royal University, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
March 6, 2015


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