Laws of Form Conference 2022
Laws of Form is the title of the seminal work of George Spencer-Brown, first published in 1969. His book gave a new point of view on the role of distinction, markedness and the unmarked state in the creation of knowledge. This conference on Laws of Form is the second conference of its kind. The first conference was held in 2019, commemorating 50 years since G. Spencer-Brown's Laws of Form was published in 1969. A book corresponding to that first conference will soon be published by World Scientific.
The state of ultimate wisdom … provides a nucleus for a calculus of love, where distinctions are suspended and all is one. Spencer Brown has made a major step in this direction, and his book should be in the hands of all young people—no lower age limit required.
Heinz von Foerster
Review of Laws of Form in The Last Whole Earth Catalogue, 1971
Submissions for papers, panel sessions, interactive presentations, workshops, performance sessions, and creative contributions inspired by George Spencer-Brown's work and life - and particularly his key work, Laws of Form (LoF) - are now open and welcomed from participants keen to contribute to LoF22 which will be held from Thursday 4 August to Saturday 6 August, 2022 at the University of Liverpool.

If you wish to actively participate at LoF22 please submit an extended abstract of your presentation, outlining its content as well as its structure. To submit, please complete the submission form here:

Facilities for giving presentations by video link will be available for those who, due to distance or other circumstances in the ongoing COVID pandemic, are unable to attend in person. Presentations will be recorded and may be made available online. It is intended that, after the conference, as with LoF50, the papers will be compiled into a book.

Please email Florian Grote with any queries about the submission process.

Deadline for submissions: Thursday, 31 March, 2022.

There are no fees for attending the conference, for giving a presentation, or for submitting a synopsis of your paper. Voluntary donations to the costs of running the conference are very gratefully received and may be made through Stripe via these links:

Donate £5 (or multiples thereof)
Donate £10 (or multiples thereof)
Donate £25 (or multiples thereof)
Donate £100 (or multiples thereof)

Thank you for any donation you are able to make!

Florian, Graham, Leon & Randy
LoF22 Organising Committee

LoF22 is being organised in cooperation with West Den Haag, an international platform for contemporary art.
Invited Keynotes
Professor Barry Smith, director of the National Center for Ontological Research (NCOR), in the State University of New York at Buffalo, is one of the most widely cited contemporary philosophers. His applied ontology extends across many fields, including the biomedical sciences, geospatial informatics, military and intelligence analysis, and industrial engineering. His work draws on Edmund Husserl and his early realist followers, especially Adolf Reinach and Roman Ingarden. Professor Smith is Julian Park Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Affiliate Professor of Biomedical Informatics, Computer Science, Engineering, and Neurology at the State University of New York at Buffalo, and Visiting Professor at the University of Italian Switzerland.

Neurophysiologist Dr. Francis Jeffrey worked for the University of California, NASA, and DARPA, and created enterprises and laboratories, including the Phenomenology Experimental Research Center (PERC). In studies with John C. Lilly and George Spencer-Brown, he pioneered the application of Spencer-Brown's calculus to neuropsychology in the flotation tank, and to vast-scale systems for human and interspecies communication technology.

Dr. Stephen Wolfram founder and CEO of Wolfram Research since its founding in 1987, is the creator of Mathematica, Wolfram|Alpha, and the Wolfram Language. Wolfram is a pioneer in the development and application of computational thinking, and has been responsible for many discoveries, inventions, and innovations in science, technology, and business. His 2002 book A New Kind of Science presented an empirical and systematic study of computational systems such as elementary cellular automata. Currently he is working on the physicalization of meta-mathematics, and the entanglement limit of all possible formal computational rules, called the 'Ruliad'—both of which find strong resonance with Laws of Form.

How can Spencer-Brown's Laws of Form help us map the presence or absence of the unmarked state in hitherto unexplored fields?

Concomitantly, what are the fundamental distinctions in those fields and how are those distinctions related to a clearing from which they arise?

How does Laws of Form compare to the Buddhist theory of form?

What has it already helped people to realise so far?

And how should we evaluate the larger corpus of Spencer-Brown's work
in mathematics, visionary philosophy, literature, and historiography?
Does Laws of Form by George Spencer-Brown provide a map
of the territory of potentiality?

Does it encourage us to accept or to avoid voids?

Does it lead us to realising nothing as a thing,
or does it lead us to no-thing?

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