A celebration of the life and work of Maria Rosa Antognazza (1964 – 2023) – 14 June, King’s College London


Department of Philosophy, King’s College London

A celebration of the life and work of Maria Rosa Antognazza (1964-2023)

Professor of Philosophy, KCL, 2003-23

All are welcome to join us for a celebration of the life and work of Maria Rosa Antognazza (1964 – 2023), Professor of Philosophy, KCL, 2003-23.

Wednesday 14 June 2023, 5:30pm in the Chapel, followed by a reception in the Great Hall.

King’s College London, The Strand, London WC2R 2LS.

Please register here to attend.

“Consequentialism, Cluelessness, Clumsiness, and Counterfactuals” – Mark Sainsbury Lecture 2023 – Alan Hájek

King’s College London Mark Sainsbury Lecture 2023

Friday 2 June, 6-8pm

“Consequentialism, Cluelessness, Clumsiness, and Counterfactuals”

By Alan Hájek, Professor of Philosophy at Australian National University, and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities

Abstract: According to objective consequentialism, a morally right action is one that has the best consequences. (These are not just the immediate consequences of the actions, but the long-term consequences, perhaps until the end of history.) I will argue that on one understanding this makes no sense, and on another understanding, it has a startling metaphysical presupposition concerning counterfactuals. Objective consequentialism has faced various objections, including the problem of “cluelessness”: we have no idea what most of the consequences of our actions will be. I think that on these understandings, objective consequentialism has a far worse problem: its very foundations are highly dubious. Even granting these foundations, a worse problem than cluelessness remains, which I call “clumsiness”. Moreover, I think that these problems quickly generalise to a number of other moral theories. But the point is most easily made for objective consequentialism, so I will focus largely on it.

I will consider three ways that objective consequentialism might be improved:

    1. Appeal instead to short-term consequences of actions;

    2. Understand consequences with objective probabilities;

    3. Understand consequences with subjective/evidential probabilities.

But even here, there be dragons.

Chaired by David Sosa (UT Austin).

Venue: KCL Strand, Safra Lecture Theatre

All are welcome. The event is free, but registration is mandatory. Registration ends on 31 May at 11:30 p.m.

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/annual-mark-sainsbury-lecture-tickets-623672530327

KCL Event’s page: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/events/annual-mark-sainsbury-lecture-1

Graduate Conference: Perspectives on Infinity, 12th-13th May

Graduate students at KCL Philosophy are organising an interdisciplinary conference on Infinity taking place next Friday and Saturday (12th – 13th May). The conference features keynote addresses from Adrian Moore (Oxford) and Øystein Linnebo (Oslo). Here is the description from the organisers, Amedeo Robiolio and Pablo Dopico:

To study infinity is to study things which have no limit, no ends, or no bounds. Consequently, it touches the areas of study of philosophers, scientists and mathematicians in a remarkable number of ways, and often causing interesting difficulties in doing so, some of which, such as Zeno’s paradoxes of Hilbert’s hotel, have achieved great popularity. Infinity is philosophically relevant in Mathematics, with issues such as the different sizes of infinity, the topic of infinitesimals, and the problems of infinity in probabilistic mathematics.

But infinity encompasses a much wider range of philosophical issues than those present in the philosophy of mathematics. In metaphysics and the philosophy of physics, the issues both of infinite extension and infinite divisibility of space and of time have troubled thinkers for millennia. In the Philosophy of Religion, the infinity of God is a vast and ancient area of investigation. Indeed, the history of the philosophy of infinity, engaging with the long and complex evolution of this topic is itself an important area of research.

The conference aims to bring together researches working on all of these different perspectives on Infinity and more, hoping that this encounter will mutually benefit the advancements of these areas.  

Please click here to go to the conference website for more information on accommodation, registration and locations, and see below for the schedule. A book of abstracts can be found here. You can get in contact with the organisers here.

Conference Schedule

Day 1: Friday 12th May
9:50 Welcome
10:00 – 10:40 Bas Kortenbach (SNS Pisa): Transfinite Level Inference and Global Validity
10:45 – 11:25 Amit Pinsker (Connecticut): Potential Infinity and Decision-Theoretic Paradox
11:30 – 12:10 Julie Lauvsland (Oslo): Mathematical pluralism and the nature of the continuum
12:10 – 14:00 Lunch Break (off-site, not included)
14:00 – 14:40 Guillaume Massas (UC Berkeley): Possibility semantics and Galileo’s paradox
14:45 – 15:25 Osvaldo Ottaviani (Technion): Infinity and Monadology: What Kind of Infinity Does
Leibniz Ascribe to Individual Substances?
15:30 – 16:10 Davide Sutto (Oslo): Potentialist Set Theory: New Paths and Open Questions
16:15 – 17:45 Keynote Address, Professor Adrian Moore (Oxford): Wittgenstein and Infinity
18:15 Dinner offered to the speakers
Day 2: Saturday 13th May
10:00 – 11:30 Keynote Address, Professor Øystein Linnebo (Oslo): Potentialism in the Philosophy and Foundations of Mathematics
11:30 – 12:30 Break
12:30 – 13:10 Markel Kortabarria (Barcelona): Grounding the Infinite Descent
13:15 – 13:55 Laura Molinaro (USI Lugano): Failure of Multilocational Endurantism in a Gunky
14:00 – 14:40 Chen Yang (Purdue): Hegel on Mathematical Infinity
14:40 Goodbyes

Time for Beauty – 3 short films for philosophers generously sponsored by the BSA


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A still from the video introduction to 'Time for Depiction', episode 1 of 'Time for Beauty', depicting the actress Amy Adams in Arrival (2016, dir. Denis Villeneuve).

Join us for the ‘Time for Beauty’ virtual conference, generously sponsored by the British Society of Aesthetics (BSA). This film-based workshop invites students and researchers to explore the captivating relationship between time and the aesthetic qualities of static visual art.

The conference will be broadcast in three episodes

  • Time for Depiction
  • Time for Musical Pictures
  • Time for Expressiveness

With each running for approximately 30 minutes. It will be accessible online from May to July 2023. To register, simply fill out the form at https://forms.gle/tBAo8R2rRcHjxRMx6, and you will receive access to the films online. We look forward to seeing you there!

Maria Rosa Antognazza (10 Sept 1964 – 28 March 2023)


It is a great sadness to announce the tragic news of the death of our admired and loved colleague, Maria Rosa Antognazza, Philosophy Professor at the Department of Philosophy, King’s College, London. Rosa died yesterday, Tuesday 28 of March, after a short illness, surrounded by her family. She leaves behind her husband, Howard Hotson, and two of her three children.

Rosa was a highly distinguished philosopher, with particular expertise in the history of philosophy, especially Leibniz, and in epistemology and the philosophy of religion. She was a member of the Academia Europaea, the Chair of the British Society for the History of Philosophy, a Trustee of The Royal Institute of Philosophy, and served as President of the British Society for the Philosophy of Religion between 2019 and 2022 and Head of the King’s Philosophy Department between 2011 and 2015.

Update from the BSHP:

In Memoriam: Maria Rosa Antognazza

It was with great sadness that we learnt that Maria Rosa Antognazza, professor at King’s College London and chair of the BSHP, passed away on 28 March 2023 after a short period of serious illness. Rosa was a brilliant scholar, a wonderful colleague, and a good friend to many among us. She will be missed immensely in the BSHP community.

If you would like to leave a tribute to Rosa please email it to inmemoriammra@gmail.com and it will posted it on this page : https://bshp.org.uk/society/in-memoriam-maria-rosa-antognazza-1/

Aaron Wendland and Volodomyr Yermolenko on “Tradition, Modernity and Crisis in Ukraine” – The Philosopher’s Zone


On the anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Vision Fellow in Public Philosophy, A.J. Wendland, and one of Ukraine’s most influential public intellectuals, Volodymyr Yermolenko talk about the power of philosophy in a time of war, the state of higher education in Kyiv, the work Ukrainian academics are doing to support their communities, and what international academics can do to help the Ukrainian academy.

Listen to the full episode here.

Ukraine Benefit Conference – ‘What Good Is Philosophy?’


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Dr Aaron James Wendland, Vision Fellow in Public Philosophy at King’s College, London and a Senior Research Fellow at Massey College, Toronto, is organizing a major online benefit event for the Ukrainian academy, entitled: ‘What Good Is Philosophy? – A Benefit Conference for Ukraine’. Here is the link:


Keynotes will be delivered by world-renowned author, Margaret Atwood, one of the most celebrated scholars of Ukrainian history, Timothy Snyder, and two of Ukraine’s preeminent public intellectuals, Mychailo Wynnyckyj and Volodymyr Yermolenko

Lectures will also be given by some of the most influential philosophers writing today, including Peter AdamsonElizabeth AndersonSeyla BenhabibJudith ButlerAgnes CallardQuassim CassamTim CraneSimon CritchleyDavid EnochPeter Godfrey-SmithSally HaslangerAngie HobbsBarry LamMelissa LaneDominic LopesKate ManneJeff McMahanJennifer NagelPhilip PettitKieran SetiyaJason StanleyTimothy Williamson, and Jonathan Wolff.

The conference will be produced by the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto, and it will be broadcast around the world on their YouTube channel on 17-19 March 2023. It can also be streamed here:


‘What Good Is Philosophy? – A Benefit Conference for Ukraine’ aims to raise the funds required to establish a Centre for Civic Engagement at Kyiv Mohyla Academy. This Centre will provide support for academic and civic institutions in Ukraine to counteract the destabilizing impact that Russia’s invasion has had on Ukrainian higher education and civilian life. By assisting Ukrainian students and scholars today, this Centre will also help pave the way for a vibrant and engaged post-war Ukraine.

The benefit conference is designed to provide individual academics, members of the public, colleges and universities, professional associations, charitable foundations, and private companies with a way to support students, scholars, and civic institutions in Ukraine. One-time, tax-deductible donations can be made here: https://civic.ukma.edu.ua/donate/

KHOPS events this term

We are pleased to announce that the King’s History of Philosophy Seminars (KHOPS) are about to restart. 

We have two invited talks scheduled for this term:

25 January – Sarah Patterson (BBK) on Anne Conway

22 March – Thomas Uebel (Manchester) TBD Both meetings will take place on Wednesday evenings from 17:30 to 19:00, in the King’s Building, room K.1.27. All are welcome!

If you would like to stay informed about our events, you can head over to the website and sign up to themailing list.

King’s College London Peace Lecture 2023 Announced

Wednesday 29 March, 6-8pm

Venue: KCL Strand Campus, Bush House 8th Floor (North)

30 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4BG

“Trolleys and Drones”

Speaker: Christopher Kutz

C. William Maxeiner Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Berkeley

Abstract: Trolley Problem ethics is not merely empty but pernicious: it founds a radically individualist, acontextual, and libertarian politics that has provided intellectual support for modern forms of remote warfare, with their attendant civilian casualties. Trolley Problem ethics made way for a strand of revisionist thinking about the ethics of war that normalizes and moralizes the killing of civilians.

The lecture will be chaired by Professor Marion Thain, Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities at King’s College London.

reception will follow at Bush House, 8th Floor (South), as well as the announcement of the winners of the Estella Newsome Memorial Prize essay competition (sponsored by the Christian Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament).

All are welcome! Booking required.

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/annual-peace-lecture-tickets-522509569187

The Peace Lectures are due to Alan Lacey, a life-long pacifist who taught philosophy at King’s College London for some fifteen years, and who left a generous bequest to fund a lecture series promoting peace. The series is organised by the KCL Philosophy Department.

“What’s the use of hope?” by Kieran Setiya in the Agora series edited by KCL’s @aj_wendland in The New Statesman

Check out the latest from the Agora, “What’s the use of hope?” by Keiran Setiya!

An engraving of Pandora
The myth of Pandora asks, if hope remains confined, wouldn’t that mean we are free of its temptations? Illustration by Classic Image/Alamy

Keiran Setiya teaches philosophy at MIT, working mainly in ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. He is the author of  Life is HardMidlife: A Philosophical GuidePractical KnowledgeReasons without Rationalism, and Knowing Right From Wrong.

This article is part of the Agora series, a collaboration between the New Statesman and Aaron James Wendland. Wendland is Vision Fellow in Public Philosophy at King’s College, London and a Senior Research Fellow at Massey College, Toronto. He tweets @aj_wendland.