Registration now open

Registration is free, but kindly requested. To register, please visit our registration page here.

Places for lunch are limited and require additional registration. Those who would like to join speakers and commentators for lunch should register additionally for lunch. Tickets for lunch will be allocated on a first come first served basis and on the basis of research interests (email organiser, if applicable). Please inform the organiser of dietary restrictions. Vegetarian options will be available.

Early registration is recommended. Registration for lunch closes 25 July 2016.

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Conference Program

Friday 5 August 2016


9:15                Welcome


9:30-11:00    Deborah Brown (Queensland), “Persons and Things”

Commentator: Allison Sherman (Monash)


11:15-12:45  Matthew Leisinger (Yale), “Cudworth on Personality”

Commentator: Jacqueline Broad (Monash)




2:30-4:00       Kathryn Tabb (Columbia), “Mad Persons: Personal Identity, Mental Hygiene, and the Association of Ideas in Locke”

Commentator: Bruce Langtry (Melbourne)


4:15-5:45       Udo Thiel (Graz), “Between Locke and Leibniz: Charles Bonnet on Self-consciousness and Personal Identity”

Commentator: Peter Anstey (Sydney)


Conference Dinner



Saturday 6 August 2016


9:30-11:00    Ruth Boeker (Melbourne), “Shaftesbury and Hume on the Self, Character and Humanity”

Commentator: Karen Green (Melbourne)


11:15-12:45  Howard Durcharme (Akron), “Personal Identity and Moral Identity of Persons in Samuel Clarke”

Commentator: Michael Olson (Macquarie)




2:30-4:00       Tamar Levanon (Bar Ilan), “The Neglected Impact of Thomas Reid’s Analysis of Self”

Commentator: Patrick Stokes (Deakin)


4:15-5:45       Simone Gubler (Texas), “A Case for Self-Decreation”

Commentator: Artem Bourov (Melbourne)

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Conference at the University of Melbourne, 5-6 August 2016

Keynote Speakers:

Udo Thiel (Graz)

Jennifer Whiting (Pittsburgh)


This conference aims to bring together scholars who work on theories of personal identity in the history of philosophy or on the development of historical theories in contemporary philosophy.

We invite submissions of abstracts on any topic related to the conference theme. We particularly welcome contributions on figures whose contributions to debates about the self or personal identity have not received perennial attention and contributions that approach the debates from innovative questions, including, but not restricted to the following: Why did some thinkers approach personal identity purely as a topic in metaphysics, while others acknowledged a moral dimension? What, if any reasons are there for distinguishing moral selves from human beings? What role do friends, family and society play in theories of personal identity?

Please submit abstracts of no more than 750 words, prepared for blind review, by 15 December 2015.

Submission website

On the submission page you will be asked to submit your abstract both in a text field and as pdf document. Please make sure that you remove any author-identifying information prior to submission.

We aim to communicate results no later than 15 February 2016.

Papers should be about 40-45 minutes reading time. We aim to find commentators for all accepted papers and authors are asked to submit their full papers no later than 1 June 2016.

Contact: Ruth Boeker, ruth.boeker (at)

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Faculty of Arts, University of Melbourne.

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