All posts by Patrick Stokes

CFP: Australian Society for Continental Philosophy 2024 Conference, Deakin University Waterfront Campus

The Australasian Society for Continental Philosophy provides a broad intellectual forum for scholars working within or in communication with continental philosophy and European philosophical traditions. We welcome proposals for papers, panels and streams from scholars working in any discipline, from diverse backgrounds, and at any stage of their career. 

The 2024 annual conference will be held at Deakin University (Geelong Waterfront) from the 2nd to the 4th of December. There will also be options for online participation.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Camisha Russell (University of Oregon)
  • Laura Roberts (Flinders University)
  • Massimiliano Tomba (UC Santa Cruz)
There will also be a plenary panel on the work of Andrew Benjamin.

Deadline for abstract submissions: 1 July

Conference fees, including Registration and Conference Dinner tickets are listed here
Registrations will open in the coming months.

For more details, as well as submission guidelines, please go to

All queries about the conference should be sent to

Keynote videos from 47th International Merleau-Ponty Circle conference

In December 2023 Deakin University hosted the 47th annual conference of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle. This conference featured 33 presentations, 3 invited lectures and 2 keynote addresses, and brought together some 90 scholars from around the world (both in-person and online) for some rich and lively discussion. Thanks to support from the Australasian Association of Philosophy, we’re pleased to be able to share the recordings for the conference’s two keynote lectures in the links below.

  • Prof. Shaun Gallagher: Caught in the Fabric of the world: Between embryology and the tapestry of autopoietic nature

  • Prof. Alia Al-Saji: Opacity, Sociality, and Colonial Duration: Is it time to think critical phenomenology through Palestine?


Congratulations Philosophy PhD Graduates!

Warm congratulations to three Deakin philosophy PhD students who graduated at a ceremony held at the Waterfront Campus on Wednesday 14th February 2023: 

  • Dr Danica Janse van Vuuren, for her thesis “A Phenomenology of Feelings of Worthlessness and Suicidality in Some Cases of Depression” supervised by Prof. Jack Reynolds and A/Prof. Patrick Stokes, with Dr. Tamara Kayali Browne
  • Dr Brian Macallan, for his thesis “Freedom as a Centralising Motif in the Work
    of Henri Bergson” supervised by Dr Sean Bowden with Prof. Jack Reynolds
  • [in absentia] Dr Max Lowdin, for his thesis “Sign and Idea: Spinoza and Deleuze” supervised by Dr Sean Bowden with Prof. Jack Reynolds

Dr Danica Janse van Vuuren (centre) with Prof. Jack Reynolds (left) and A/Prof. Patrick Stokes (right) after the ceremony (photo courtesy of Tim Neal)

Dr Brian Macallan celebrating his PhD conferral (photo courtesy of Brian)


International Merleau-Ponty Circle Program

Deakin is proud to host the 47th Annual Meeting of the International Merleau-Ponty Circle, 4-6 December 2023. The theme for IPMC47 is “Merleau-Ponty and Embodiment: Between the Cognitive, Aesthetic, and Socio-Political”:

Merleau-Ponty’s seminal work on embodiment has been of enduring interest and influence in a wide range of fields. It has, for example, played a significant role in research on embodied cognition and enactivism, subjectivity and intersubjectivity, affectivity, movement, art, place, and more. Although sometimes criticized for providing an account of embodiment that is too general, Merleau-Ponty’s philosophical foregrounding of embodiment has also facilitated critical phenomenological studies attending to the specificities of how particular bodies inhabit social and political environments, through considerations of race, gender, disability, aging, and illness. This year’s meeting of the IMPC seeks to bring together these rich and varied strands of enquiry, in order to think with, against, and beyond Merleau-Ponty’s own contributions on the lived body.

A full program for the event can be downloaded here.

To read abstracts for the General Program click here.

To read abstracts for the Rethinking Racism through Embodiment and Place stream click here.

For further details and to register please visit the conference’s Eventbrite Page.





Conference Announcement: Merleau-Ponty and Embodiment

47th International Merleau-Ponty Circle Conference

Merleau-Ponty and Embodiment: Between the Cognitive, Aesthetic, and Socio-Political

In-person and virtual (hybrid)

4-6 December 2023

Deakin University, Melbourne (Narrm), Australia 


The conference will feature two keynote addresses:

  • Associate Professor Alia Al-Saji (McGill University): Opacity, Reversibility, and the Colonial Duration of Perception
  • Professor Shaun Gallagher (Memphis, Wollongong): Caught in the Fabric of the World: Between Embryology and Extended Mind

Invited Speakers include:

This year’s meeting of IMPC will take place in Melbourne (Narrm), Australia, on the traditional and unceded lands of the Kulin Nation. The conference is being directed by Helen Ngo and Jack Reynolds. It will be held at the centrally located and accessible Deakin Downtown campus,

There is also a special substream throughout the event on “Rethinking Racism Through Embodiment and Place”, supported by Dr Ngo’s ARC DECRA. 

Workshop: Self-Narratives and Irony

Self-Narratives and Irony

2nd March 2023 2:30-5:30pm, Deakin Downtown, Level 12, 727 Collins Street Docklands

An afternoon workshop featuring presentations from Pierre-Jean Renaudie (University of Lyon) and Daniel Rodriguez-Navas (The New School, via Zoom) followed by open discussion.

All welcome, to register please email Patrick Stokes.

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Courtyard Strandgarde 30, c.1905
Vilhelm Hammershøi, Courtyard Strandgarde 30, c.1905

Over the last forty years, the philosophical question surrounding the problem of personal identity has undergone two important and concomitant transformations. These transformations have durably affected theories of personal identity. Departing from the metaphysical ground of analysis of the modalities of identification and temporal synthesis of the Ego, a significant number of historical or systematic works devoted to the question of the Self have first sought to re-inscribe the problem a practical perspective. This allows the question of personal identity to be approached in narrower frameworks: those of moral philosophy or philosophy of action (Williams B. 1982, Frankfurt 1988, Ricœur 1990, Taylor 1992, Korsgaard 1996, Moran 2001, Larmore 2004, Descombes 2014). A second important displacement in the question of personal identity occurred in parallel to this first transformation with the rise of the narrative approaches of the self (MacIntyre 1981, Ricœur 1984, Bruner 1987 and 1991, Schechtman 1996, 73, Hutto 2007, Goldie 2012), engaging an in-depth reinterpretation of the question of individual identity and initiating the “narrative turn” of identity theories (Stokes 2015, 166).

These two lines of transformation have converged and come together over the last fifteen years through various works seeking to take advantage of the resources offered by narrative identity theories in order to propose a new model of “practical identity” (Williams S. 2004, Atkins 2008, Atkins and Mackenzie 2008, Korsgaard 2009, Mackenzie and Poltera 2010, Davenport 2012). However, this philosophical attempt to renew our understanding of personal identity highlight the practical dimension of the self and paid little attention to the various forms of self-detachment that narratives allow. The use of irony in the construction of narratives is paradigmatic of such forms of self-detachment, which enable the narrator to take a critical distance towards the characters of the story told.

The purpose of this workshop is to analyse the forms of self-detachment that ironical self-narratives involve, so as to highlight the role and philosophical significance of irony with regard to the constitution of one’s identity.


2:30: Welcome and introduction

2:35-3:30 Pierre-Jean Renaudie, “Tragedy or comedy? The ironic failure of self-narratives in Sartre”

3:30-3:45 Break

3:45-4:45 Daniel Rodriguez-Navas, “Individualism and the Limits of Accountability: Narrating Selves in Brison and Butler”

4:45-5:25 Open discussion

5:30: Conclusion

Philosophy as a Way of Life: New Directions in Research event

This three-day event brings together leading scholars from around the world to discuss new directions in historical, historiographical, philosophical and metaphilosophical research on philosophy as a way of life, the approach to ancient philosophy inaugurated by Ilsetraut and Pierre Hadot.

Day 1 (Mon Dec 12 (US, EU), Tue 13 (Aus Eastern, 7-9 am))

  • Matteo Stettler, “’Philosophy, Philosophical Conversion and Protreptic Discourses”.
  • Massimo Pigliucci, “Can Skepticism be a way of life? Lessons from Cicero”.
  • Caleb Cahoe, “Does Augustine Give Up Wisdom for Faith? The Relationship Between Philosophical and Religious Ways of Life”

Day 2 (Tue Dec 13/14 Wed (Aus Eastern, 7-9 am)

  • Michael Chase, “Spectator novus: on (re-) learning to see the world for the first time”.
  • John Sellars, “Renaissance humanism as a way of life”
  • Laura Mueller, “Mary Astell and Philosophy as a Way of Life”


Day 3 (Wed Dec 14/15 Thu (Aus Eastern), 7-9 am)

  • Eli Kramer, “Philosophy as a Way of Life: The Role of Systematic and Speculative Spiritual Exercises”.
  • Stephen Grimm, “How Can We Tell Which Philosophical Ways of Life” Are More Successful Than Others? An Evaluative Framework”.
  • Marta Faustino, “PWL On the Tension Field Between Metaphilosophy and History of Philosophy”.

For event registration please visit Philosophy as a Way of Life, New Research Directions Tickets

For more information, please contact A/Prof. Matthew Sharpe.