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OMS Seminar 19/04 - Thomas Sattig (University of Tuebingen)

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Ontoformat Metaphysical Seminar: Spring 2018
University of Milan

Time: Thursday, April 19th, 14:30-16:30
Location: Sala Enzo Paci, Department of Philosophy, University of Milan, via Festa del Perdono 7, Milan

Speaker: Thomas Sattig (University of Tuebingen)

Title: Part, Slot, Ground: New Foundations for Aristotelian Mereologies

It is a vivid Aristotelian idea that a material object is structured by a certain arrangement of mereological slots, and that the fillers of these slots are the object’s parts. But what are mereological slots? What is a slot-structure? And what does it take to fill a slot in such a structure? The tradition in mereology is replete with appeals to an object’s mereological structure, its part-carving form, but it offers little analysis of these elusive notions. The aim of this talk is to explore novel reductive foundations of mereological slot-structures of material objects, and thereby to contribute to lifting these Aristotelian ideas from the obscurity that has barred them from breaking into mainstream contemporary metaphysics.

In the first part, I shall sketch an intuitive and familiar picture of a material object’s slot-structure. In the second part, I shall present a metaphysical analysis of the mereological slots of a material object in terms of the grounds of the object’s essential kind. Moreover, I shall indicate how this analysis allows for the slot-structure of a material object a) to vary, b) to be hierarchical, and c) to exhibit a bottom-up or a top-down order of dependence. In the third part, I shall illustrate the explanatory power of the analysis by applying it to some classical Aristotelian cases.


Upcoming talks

Apr 19 Thomas Sattig (University of Tuebingen)
May 3 Christopher Hughes (King's College London)
May 3 Damiano Costa (University of Lugano)
May 22 Neil Williams (University of Buffalo)
May 24 Matti Eklund (University of Uppsala)
Jun 14 Fabrice Correia (University of Geneva)