Workshop in Early Modern Political Thought

On Monday February 13, Reason and Religious Recognition CoE organized a one day workshop focusing on early modern political philosophy. The workshop took place at the Faculty room (tiedekuntasali) of the Faculty of Theology. It brought together numerous scholars working in the field of early modern moral and political philosophy. Our main quest speaker was Professor Kinch Hoekstra (University of California, Berkeley) who has been a long-time collaborator of the CoE.

Risto Saarinen started a day by presenting the main ideas of his latest book Recognition and Religion: A Historical and Systematic Study (Oxford University Press, 2016). This was the official book launch of Saarinen’s major study that investigates the rich history of the pre-hegelian concepts and conceptions of recognition and offers a systematic understanding of the development idea of mutual recognition in theological texts.

After Saarinen’s talk, Mikko Tolonen introduced latest methods in the area of digital humanities. Tolonen has develop together with his research group a novel data analysis software that can be employed by intellectual historians and philosophers in exploring a large data sets.

Second session focused on natural equality, a theme that Saarinen examines in relation to the concept of recognition in his book. The concept of natural equality received attention in the papers by Martina Reuter and Kari Saastamoinen. Reuter drew attention to the relation between natural equality and gender equality in the philosophy of Poulain de la Barre. Saastamoinen offered a new interpretation of the role of natural equality in John Locke’s Two Treatises on Government.

The day ended with Kinch Hoekstra’s talk, entitled Thucydides in the Reformation. Hoekstra scrutinized Lutheran (moral and political) interpretations of Thucydides in the 16th century. Particurarly, his talk centred on Philip Melancthon and his followers. Pekka Kärkkänen, a member of the CoE, gave a commentary talk on Hoekstra’s paper.