Talk: Matteo Favaretti, “The German Eighteenth-century Debate on the Indestructibility of the Soul” (Online, 17 November 2022)

We are glad to give notice that Matteo Favaretti (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia) will give an online talk, entitled The German Eighteenth-century Debate on the Indestructibility of the Soul, at the Leuven Seminar in Classical German Philosophy, on November 17th, 2022, 17:00-18:30 (CET). Respondent will be Corey W. Dyck (University of Western Ontario).


Here the abstract of the talk:

Leibniz’s doctrine of immortality had a powerful impact on eighteenth-century German philosophers. His distinction between indestructibility (a property of all simple substances) and immortality in the strict sense (a property of rational souls or spirits alone) soon became a cornerstone of most debates on the afterlife. Whereas current research usually focuses on the arguments for immortality proper, my aim is to explore the topic of mere indestructibility. My point is that post-Leibnizian philosophers did not merely recast the traditional argument from simplicity (the soul has no parts, hence it cannot decompose) but also addressed the hypothesis of the soul’s annihilation by arguing that it would be incompatible with the laws of nature. In particular, I propose a new interpretation of the argument for the indestructibility of the soul that Moses Mendelssohn develops from the Law of Continuity in the first dialogue of his Phädon.


The Leuven Seminar in Classical German Philosophy is organized by Karin de Boer, Henny Blomme, Luis Fellipe Garcia, and Pavel Reichl.

Please register through the website in order to receive the Zoom link. Events are recorded and made available on the YouTube platform of the research group.


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