Plenary Speakers

Michael Moriarty, Professor of French, University of Cambridge

Professor Moriarty is the author of a three-volume study of seventeenth-century French thought, which blends philosophical thinking with rhetorical, theological and anthropological discourse.  Health, viewed in psychic, ethical and theological perspectives, is one of the main themes of this study.


Martine Pécharman, Professor of Philosophy, CNRS, Paris

Professor Pécharman is the author of many seminal articles on the relations of logic, language and politics.  An important strand of her work focuses on theological discussions of wellbeing.


Ursula Renz, Professor of Philosophy, University of Klagenfurt

Professor Renz’s prize-winning book on Spinoza’s philosophy of mind was received with general acclaim, and she continues to work on the philosophical, ethical and epistemological dimensions of self-knowledge.   She is interested in the processes involved in learning to live and die in the light of one’s self-knowledge, both at a philosophical level and in everyday life.


Lisa Shapiro, Professor of Philosophy, Simon Fraser University

Professor Shapiro is widely admired for her path-finding work on the correspondence between the Princess Elisabeth and Descartes, which highlights the importance of the passions for a healthy human being in the Cartesian scientific outlook present in Descartes’s other works. She leads a research project on early-modern philosophical writings by women, in which the role of education for living as a human being plays a prominent role.


Mariafranca Spallanzani, Associate Professor of History of Philosophy, University of Bologna

Professor Spallanani has written on a wide range of themes in seventeenth and eighteenth-century philosophy, but one of her abiding interests concerns the nature and status of a philosophical way of life.  Is this a healthy way to live and if so, why?  She has formal collaborations with scholars in France, Italy and Spain.


Charles Wolfe, Research Fellow in Philosophy and Moral Sciences, University of Ghent, and Associate of the Unit for History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney

Dr. Wolfe is an active figure in current work on changing scientific and medical conceptions of life and death and their broader implications.  He has published widely on the history of the life sciences including medicine, and is co-editor of a Springer book series on this topic. He is currently writing a monograph on vitalism, his latest book is entitled Materialism: A Historico-Philosophical Introduction (2016).