2008/9 Newsletter

APA Sessions

  • EASTERN APA: Marriott Hotel, Philadelphia, PA (27-30 December 2008)
    • Sunday, 28 December 2008
    • Group Session GIII – 5, 11:15AM – 1:15PM
      • Chair: Martha Bolton (Rutgers University)
      • Speaker:Alan Nelson (University of North Caroline – Chapel Hill)
      • Topic: “Monadology and the Cogito”
      • Commentator: Timothy Crockett (Marquette University)

LSNA Essay Contest

  • The winner of the 2008 Leibniz Society Essay Competition is Jeffrey McDonough (Harvard University), for his essay, “Leibniz and the Puzzle of Incompossibility: The Packing Strategy”
    The winning essay was presented at the Second Annual Leibniz Society of North America Conference (Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, 26-28 September 2008).
  • Twenty-seventh annual competition (2009): In an effort to encourage the study of the philosophy of Leibniz in North America and to give recognition to deserving scholars, the Leibniz Society of North America (LSNA) is continuing its annual Essay Competition. Submitted essays should be on some aspect of the philosophy of Leibniz. They should be from twelve to twenty-five pages in length (double-spaced), and should be submitted by June 1, 2009, as determined by postmark. The winning essay (or essays) will be presented before the Society at the 2008-09 Annual Conference of the LSNA, with the Society retaining final discretion as to the specific site. In addition, the author of a winning essay will have the option of publishing it in the Leibniz Review. To facilitate anonymous judging, the author’s name should be given only on a separate title page or cover sheet and should not appear in the body or footnotes of the paper; neither should identifiable information such as full references to publications by the author. Judges reserve the right not to name a winner in the event that none of the submissions is deemed to be of sufficient quality or suitability for the award. Suitability for oral presentation may play a role in the judging. Full scholarly apparatus is preferred but not required; sufficiently developed works-in-progress will, therefore, have a chance in the competition and may be submitted. Previous one-time winners are encouraged to re-enter, but a given person can win the competition at most twice. Essays in French or German may be submitted as well as those in English, but all applicants should keep in mind the condition of presentation and should not submit an essay unless they will be able to read their paper at the Annual LSNA Conference.  There is no reimbursement for travel possible.  Please send submissions to the Coordinator of the LSNA Essay Competition: Professor Mark Kulstad, Department of Philosophy, MS-14, Rice University, Houston, TX 77251-1892, U.S.A. // (713) 348-2724 // kulstad@ruf.rice.edu

Third Annual Leibniz Society of North America Conference

Minutes of the LSNA Business Meeting (29 September 2008, Princeton, New Jersey)

1.  Moved by Dan Garber that the previously circulated amendments to the Constitution be accepted.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

2.  Moved by Mark Kulstad that the results of the election held at the meeting in January, 2008 be accepted.  This is to comply with the Society’s Constitution.  The motion was seconded and unanimously approved.

3.  The President announced that the 2009 conference will be at the University of Kentucky, hosted by Brandon Loook, probably in September.  In 2010, it will be at the University of Houston, hosted by Greg Brown.  Jutin Smith and François Duchesneau have offered to host the conference in Montréal in 2011 or perhaps 2012.

Submitted by Martha Bolton

Minutes of Discussions and Decisions, December 2008 – June 2009

I. Minutes Approval, Future LSNA Meetings, and Future Executive Committee Elections (December 3, 2008 – December 8, 2008)

Martha Brandt Bolton (President) requested feedback on three issues:

  1. She requested approval of the minutes of the January 25, 2008 Executive Committee meeting in Houston.
  2. She requested feedback concerning suggestions for future LSNA meetings.
  3. She requested feedback concerning how to go about preparing a list of nominees for a new LSNA President and three new members of the Board.

Each of these issues was discussed by email and the Executive Committee unanimously made the following decisions:

  1. The minutes of January 25, 2008 were approved.
  2. The next LSNA conference on September 25-27 will be a joint conference hosted by the LSNA and the North American Kant Society. In 2010, the LSNA meeting will be held at the University of Houston. In 2011, the LSNA meeting will be held at the University of California, San Diego.  In 2012, the LSNA meeting will be held in Montreal.
  3. With respect to preparing a list of nominees for a new LSNA President and three new members of the Board, it was decided that the procedure would not be formalized, and that Martha Brandt Bolton would suggest a nominating committee prior to the meeting in Kentucky in September 2009.

II. Online Subscriptions to The Leibniz Review (December 5, 2008 – December 17, 2008)
Glenn Hartz presented the Executive Committee with a draft of the contract between LSNA and the Philosophy Documentation Center regarding online subscriptions to TheLeibniz Review.  After some discussion, and a minor change to the contract, the contract was approved unanimously.

III. LSNA Website (April 21, 2009 – April 25, 2009)
Glenn Hartz made a motion that Gregory Brown, the LSNA webmaster, be sent recent information about the LSNA as soon as possible so that the website can be kept up to date, and all information about the LSNA can be obtained in one place.  It was unanimously agreed that Greg should be sent all information as soon as it is available, and that the President should coordinate the assignment of duties with respect to which executive committee members are responsible for getting Greg the relevant information.

IV. Report from the President (April 25, 2009)
Martha Brandt Bolton reported several items of interest to the LSNA:
1. Nicholas Jolley has retired as Vice President of the LSNA since he is retiring from UC Irvine at the end of the semester. Since he has already arranged the APA Eastern Division Meeting (the primary task of the VP), the office of Vice President will remain vacant until a successor can be nominated and elected at the September business meeting in Kentucky.
2. Since several positions on the Executive Committee will be vacant in December 2010, Martha Brandt Bolton suggested a nominating committee of two: Samuel Levy and Sukjae Lee. The nominating committee will prepare a slate of nominees for the vacant positions in time for the meeting in Kentucky.

V. LSNA Conferences in 2011 (May 6, 2009)
Donald Rutherford reported that plans are underway for two conferences in 2011. The LSNA and the Leibniz–Forschungsstelle in Münster will jointly organize the two conferences. The theme of the meetings will center on the Des Bosses correspondence. The present plan is to have the first meeting at UCSD in September 2011 on main topics of the correspondence. The second meeting is to be in Münster in Spring 2012 and will follow up on the work done at the first meeting by focusing on writings by Leibniz from the same time period. The Münster group will be in the process of editing these writings at that time.

VI. Purchase of a New LSNA Scanner (June 1 – June 4, 2009)
Glenn Hartz sent an Excel document containing the financial position of the LSNA to the Executive Committee.  The financial statement showed a substantial positive balance.  Hartz asked for permission to use LSNA funds to cover $300 of the $600 needed to purchase a new scanner, which would be used in part to reduce paperwork and file space required to conduct Society business.  After some discussion, the Executive Committee unanimously approved the amount.

Respectfully submitted,

Laurence Carlin