Annual Aristotle and Aristotelianism Conference

SUMMER 2014

 



“Definition and Essence in Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition”


Ninth Annual Marquette Summer Seminar on

Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition

23-25 June 2014


Presented by the Midwest Seminar in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

and the Aquinas and the Arabs Project

with financial assistance from the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School



Marquette University

Department of Philosophy

Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Our sincere thanks go out to the many fine contributors and discussants for another stimulating and valuable conference.

Please consider joining us in June 2015 for our 10th annual conference on Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition. (For website, click here.)



This Conference is intended to provide a formal occasion and central location for philosophers and scholars of the Midwest region (and elsewhere) to present and discuss their current work on Aristotle’ and his interpreters in ancient, medieval and contemporary philosophy.



ATTENDING ONLY: Send Registration check with name, address, academic affiliation.


CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FOR ALL PRESENTERS AND ATTENDEES

(fees cover breakfasts, refreshments, dinner one night)

Advance Registration ($60 by check) Deadline: May 1.

NOTE => After May 1 Registration only at the door: $70 cash.

CHECKS SHOULD BE MADE OUT TO: Marquette University

(Fees are waived for Marquette students, faculty and staff for on campus events only.)


(Applications now closed)

Conference Proposal Submission Guidelines

Established Scholars: send a title and tentative abstract;

Graduate Students: send a title, abstract, CV and a supporting letter from your faculty advisor or dissertation director.

NOTE: Abstracts should be 150 words or fewer. Do not send entire papers.

Send applications by email to: Owen.Goldin@Marquette.edu


OPENING DATE FOR SUBMISSIONS: 5 November 2013.

The Selection Committee will select presenters on the basis  of quality of proposals (title and abstract) and scholarly record as the primary criteria.


PROGRAM ANNOUNCED: March 2014. The first review of submissions will take place March 1. This date should be considered the deadline for submissions since it is likely that the conference program will be completed at that time.

Presenters will be asked to confirm their participation by paying the registration fee when offered the conference slot.



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Registration Form.


=> ALL ATTENDEES (including the Marquette community) are asked to register.<=


NAME:

TITLE: 

ACADEMIC AFFILIATION:

ADDRESS:

EMAIL ADDRESS:

TELEPHONE:

CHECK NUMBER: 

(Registration fees are waived for members of the Marquette community.)

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Print the Registration Form above and send your check made out to “Marquette University” to:

Owen Goldin

Philosophy Department

Marquette University

P.O. Box 1880

Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881


For housing, directions et alia, see the bottom of this page.


Registered Attendees:

forthcoming





Conference Schedule



All sessions will be held in Alumni Memorial Union, Room 163.


MONDAY JUNE 23 : Alumni Memorial Union, Room 163.


Presentations Categories in Aristotle: Substance and Method


8:45-10:00 [1] Prof. Robert Bolton, Rutgers University,

"Definition and the Limits of Dialectic in Aristotle: Topics VI-VII."


10:05-11:20 [2] Mr. Justin Vlasits, UC Berkeley

“Aristotle on the Use and Abuse of Platonic Division in the Analytics”


11:25-12:40 [3] Prof. Julie Ward, Loyola University, Chicago

“Aristotle on Definition: An Investigation Concerning ‘The Medical’”


12:40-2:15 pm Lunch: If it is raining, we suggest the Lunda Room in the same building as our meetings. For information, click here.

If it is not raining, the MU Law School Tory Hill Cafe is quite nice. For information, click here.

Other suggestions: Jimmy John’s Subs, Qdoba, (each one block from our event), Miss Katie’s Diner (3-4 blocks away), and more in the immediate area.


Presentations


2:15-3:30 [4] Prof. Owen Goldin, Marquette University,

“Contradiction and Contrariety in Aristotelian Definition”


3:35-4:50 [5] Mr. Lok-Chun (Kelson) Law, University of Pittsburgh,

“Eclipse, Thunder, a Walk after Dinner”


4:55-6:15 [6] Mr. Joshua Mendelsohn, University of Chicago

“Two kinds of definition: Robert Kilwardby’s commentary on Posterior Analytics I.4 and its ramifications for the modal syllogistic”


Some local downtown Milwaukee modest cost dining options accessible by walking or short bus ride:

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. Review here.

Old German Beer Hall. Review here.

Alem Ethiopian Village. Review here.

Port of Call Bistro and Beer Garden. Review here.

Moe’s Irish Pub. Review here.

For many more options, see Yelp.com or look here.




TUESDAY JUNE 24 : Alumni Memorial Union, Room 163.


Presentations


8:45-1240 [7] Mr. Scott O’Connor, Cornell University,

“Essence and Persistence in Aristotle”


10:05-11:20 [8] Dr. Jacob Tuttle, Loyola University Chicago,

“Suarez on the Nature and Definition of Active Causal Powers”


11:25 - 12:40 [9] Prof. Errol Katayama, Ohio Northern University

“Demystifying the Aristotelian Olive”


12:40 -2:15 pm Lunch: If it is raining, we suggest the Lunda Room in the same building as our meetings. For information, click here.

If it is not raining, the MU Law School Tory Hill Cafe is quite nice. For information, click here.

Other suggestions: Jimmy John’s Subs, Qdoba, (each one block from our event), Miss Katie’s Diner (3-4 blocks away), and more in the immediate area.


Presentations


215:3:30 [10] Prof. Daniel Maher, Assumption College,

“To signify not one is to signify nothing” (1006b7): Aristotle on Unity and Contradiction”


3:35-4:50: [11] Prof. Marko Malink, University of Chicago,

“Necessity and Demonstration in Posterior Analytics 1.6.”


4:55-6:10 [12]Prof. Daniel Devereaux, University of Virginia

"Puzzles Regarding Essence and Definition in the Physics and Metaphysics".


Evening Picnic: 7:15 pm at Gordon Park, Humbolt and Locust Sts., under the covered shelter. Directions: click here. To download a PDF of the directions, click here.

Carpooling available.




WEDNESDAY JUNE 25 : Alumni Memorial Union, Room 163.


Presentations


8:45-10:00 [13] Prof. Julie Swanstrom, Armstrong Atlantic State University,

“Aristotelian Species Essentialism in Aquinas and Darwin: A close look at Essentialism, Secondary Causation, and Evolution”


10:05-11:20 [14] Mr. Damon Watson, Marquette University

"The Role of Teleology in Aristotle's Account of the Unity of Definition"


Closing remarks and discussion.


Lunch: suggestions: MU Law School Cafe, AMU (Student Union) Lunda Room, Jimmy John’s Subs, Qdoba, Miss Katie’s Diner, and more in the immediate area.

Some local downtown Milwaukee modest cost dining options accessible by walking or short bus ride:

Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery. Review here.

Old German Beer Hall. Review here.

Alem Ethiopian Village. Review here.

Port of Call Bistro and Beer Garden. Review here.

Moe’s Irish Pub. Review here.

For many more options, see Yelp.com or look here.


+++++++++++++++++++


CONFERENCE LOCATION:

Conference sessions will take place in the Alumni Memorial Union, 1442 W. Wisconsin Ave., Room 163. For location information and nearby parking see https://www.marquette.edu/campus-map/marquette-map.pdf.


HOUSING:

On campus housing is available at a modest cost ($50 single; $72 double = $36 per person; $81 triple - $29 per person; $90 quad = $22.50 per person).   To reserve a room contact the housing office directly:  Carrie Enea at 414-288-4737 or via email at carrie.enea@marquette.edu.  Rooms requested are subject to availability.

Rooms will be at Straz Tower, 915 W. Wisconsin Avenue, a three block walk from the conference location.


HOTELS:

Just a few blocks East from Marquette University is the Holiday Inn Milwaukee City Center, 611 West Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53203. Tel. 1-414-273-2950.

For further information on the hotel, see http://www.ichotelsgroup.com/h/d/hi/1/en/hd/mkecc?irs=null

A few blocks West from Marquette University is the very charming Ambassador Hotel: 2308 W Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53233. Tel.(414) 342-8400

For further information on the hotel, see www.ambassadormilwaukee.com

(Mention that you are attending a Marquette conference may get you a discount. Be sure to ask.)


DIRECTIONS AND MAPS:

For directions to the Marquette Campus, see https://www.marquette.edu/contact/directions/

For a map of the Marquette University campus, see https://www.marquette.edu/contact/CampusMap.pdf

For a map of downtown Milwaukee, see

http://www.wisconline.com/counties/milwaukee/map-downtown.html

For parking information, click here or go to:  https://www.marquette.edu/about/visitor_parking.shtml.


TRAVELING TO MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY (& DOWNTOWN MILWAUKEE) FROM

MILWAUKEE’S MITCHELL AIRPORT:

For a shuttle, see http://www.mitchellairport.com/getting.html

Downtown Milwaukee: info from http://kiwinc.itgo.com/mwc/mitchell.html

    * Expect a taxi to cost around $30 or more due to fuel costs.

    * Most convenient: Airport Connection shared ride van serves a frequent loop of most downtown hotels. http://mkelimo.com/

    * Cheapest: MCTS bus route 80 serves 6th St. downtown, next to the Frontier Airlines Center and nearby hotels. Travel time is 25 minutes, often not much longer than taxi or van.

http://www.ridemcts.com/routes_and_schedules/schedule.asp?route=80

Straz Tower is at 9th and Wisconsin.



Midwest Seminar in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy link:

https://academic.mu.edu/taylorr/Midwest-Seminar/Welcome.html


Aquinas and ‘the Arabs’ Project link:

www.AquinasAndTheArabs.org


MARQUETTE UNIVERSITY PHILOSOPHY DEPARTMENT link:

https://www.marquette.edu/phil/



Conference Abstracts – Alphabetical Order


Goldin, Owen. Professor, Marquette University, owen.goldin@marquette.edu

“Contradiction and Contrariety in Aristotelian Definition”

Aristotle argues against dichotomous division as a method of articulating the essences falling under a generic kind on the basis of the principle that a division must be a division of a positive feature, while a privation as such is a negation of a feature, and as such admits of no further articulation.  A puzzle follows.  Division is disjunctive: if a kind G is to be divided, how can that be if not on the basis of the principle that each G is either D1 or D2.  How are D1 and D2 to be distinguished if not by the fact that D1 is a certain feature and D2 is the absence of that feature?  One possibility is that is D1 and D2 are opposed not as feature and negation, but as distinct determinations of the same determinable feature.  For that case, both D1 and D2 are determinate features and, as such, are open to further determination.  This possibility is confirmed by a close reading of the texts in which Aristotle presents the ongoing results of his own biological investigations.  As Lennox has emphasized, Aristotle’s practice is to focus on features that are shared among certain kinds, but are to be distinguished on quantitative grounds, on the basis of “the greater and less.”  Each determination of a continuum is itself a positive characteristic and at least in principle is subject to further cuts.


This feature of Aristotle’s later theory of division constitutes a major revision of his earlier thought.  Meta. Gamma 7 1012a9-13 defends the principle of the excluded middle on the basis of an argument that presupposes that definitional division along a continuum is impossibilityWithin the present paper I closely examine this argument, in order to determine exactly what aspect of his account of division Aristotle comes to revise, and why.  I suggest that the recognition of a continuity of differentiating features is in part motivated by the empirical results of biological investigation.  As Balme has argued, the forms of living things incorporate all material accidents, while scientific definitions of kinds restrict themselves to those generalities that have teleological import (and it will be these kinds that are necessarily limited in number).  The basis of explanation will be a determinate number of teleological principles.  That there is a certain continuum of differentiating features will ultimately be understood as a feature to be explained, not a principle of explanation.  A corollary is that Aristotle comes to accept what is indeterminate need not thereby be unintelligible.   A genus may be distinguished by differences among its members that fall along a continuum; for example, a genus of birds may be divided on the basis of the length of the bird’s beak, while length itself is a continuum in principle subject to indefinite division.  While according to Aristotle’s earlier theory of definition, both principles and derivative attributes (the kath’ hauta sumbebēkota) are determinate intelligible entities, Aristotle comes to see an indeterminate range of attributes (which can be characterized as  an instance of  “the more and the less”) as itself an intelligible principle, such as can serve as a foundation of explanation. This is a partial return to the account of explanation offered in Plato’s Philebus, according to which what is Unlimited may itself serve as a principle by which things may be classified and understood.  


Katayama, Errol. Professor, Ohio Northern University,
e-katayama@onu.edu

“Demystifying the Aristotelian Olive”

Based on the abstract definitions of nature and art extracted from the opening passage of Physics II 1, Robert Wardy, in his “The Mysterious Aristotelian Olive,” argues that there is a problem of categorizing domesticated plants: they are neither obviously natural nor obviously artificial. In this paper, I shall argue that Aristotle does not simply categorize what exists in terms of a dichotomy between nature and art (that is, in terms of whether or not a thing in question possesses the innate internal source of change) but rather in terms of trichotomy among nature, art, and chance (that is, in terms of how a thing in question is generated). Based on the definitions of these three crucial categories, I shall offer an Aristotelian solution to the mystery by arguing that some living things (like the Aristotelian olives) are products of art and that domesticated plants are such artificial living things.

Law, Lok-Chun (Kelson). Graduate Student, University of Pittsburgh,
kelsonlaw@gmail.com

“Eclipse, Thunder, a Walk after Dinner”

Definition has a special place in understanding (epist_em_e) partly because there is understanding simpliciter only of what cannot be otherwise (APst I.2) and, even of what comes and goes, e.g., eclipse, de_nition is eternal (I.8). Second, if x is something the cause of which is something else, and thus has a de_nition that is `a demonstration di_ering in arrangement' (I.8, II.10), e.g., thunder (II.8), then what x is is made clear through demonstration of why x obtains. In these two ways, just as the de_nition of a natural event - its logos of to ti en einai - makes understanding it possible, so the logos of to hou heneka makes it possible to understand an action. This analogy (if not more), I argue, can illuminate a notoriously obscure passage in II.11, where Aristotle purports to illustrate how the _nal cause of walking after dinner, health, is `shown through the middle term'.

Maher, Daniel. Associate Professor, Assumption College,
dmaher@assumption.edu

“To signify not one is to signify nothing” (1006b7): Aristotle on Unity and Contradiction”

This paper connects Aristotle’s examination (in books IV and X of Metaphysics) of the way one and being signify the same thing. In book X, Aristotle distinguishes two fundamental senses of being one: (1) being one per se (internally undivided), and (2) being one as a measure of a multitude. Although the former sense is first in itself, plurality and division are more evident to us; only with difficulty do we come to discern how one attaches to being as being. One belongs in virtue of a being’s determinate nature, and yet one is not a genus or a property or a definitional part of the being. Being is not one in the way Parmenides had said, and yet what is not one is somehow not a being at all.

Malink, Marko. Associate Professor, University of Chicago,
malinkm@uchicago.edu

“Necessity and Demonstration in Posterior Analytics 1.6.”

“Aristotle thinks that the premisses and conclusions of (most) scientific demonstrations are true of necessity. Because of this, it is sometimes thought that his official logic of demonstration is the modal syllogistic presented in Prior Analytics 1.8-22. Against this, Jonathan Barnes has argued that the modal syllogistic does not play any role in Aristotle's theory of scientific demonstration in the Posterior Analytics. I will argue that Barnes is wrong, and that the modal syllogistic does play a role in establishing the necessity of the conclusions of scientific demonstrations. My starting point is Aristotle's claim, in Posterior Analytics 1.6, that in order to have scientific knowledge the demonstrator must know not only that but also why the conclusion is necessary (75a12-15).”

Mendelsohn, Joshua. Graduate Student, University of Chicago,
mendelsohn@uchicago.edu

“Two kinds of definition: Robert Kilwardby’s commentary on Posterior Analytics I.4 and its ramifications for the modal syllogistic”

In his ca. 1240 commentary on the Posterior Analytics, Robert Kilwardby claims that per se accidents “have a definition in two ways:” One consisting “of genus and differentia [ex genere et differentia]” and another in which “their subject is specified [ponuntur sua subiecta].” In this paper, I demonstrate the power of this idea for making sense of Aristotle’s first three senses of per se in Posterior Analytics 1.4, with reference to recent interpretations. Kilwardby goes on to apply this interpretation of per se predication in the Posterior Analytics to the modal syllogistic of the Prior Analytics, in effect providing a semantics for Aristotle’s necessity propositions. Following Kilwardby’s interpretation, I show how this dual-definitional account of per se terms and predication provides an elegant solution to certain puzzles regarding modal conversion rules and the validity of mixed-mood syllogisms.

O’Connor, Scott. Graduate Student, Cornell University,
scott.oconnor@gmail.com

“Essence and Persistence in Aristotle”

In the Categories, Aristotle says that “[t]he most distinctive mark of substance appears to be that, while remaining numerically one and the same, it is capable of admitting contrary qualities.” (4a10–11) In later works, he tells us that the form, or essence, of a substance plays an important role in explaining just how a substance can remain numerically one and the same as it changes. For instance, in De Anima II.4, he argues that the form of an animal explains how an animal can grow without being destroyed by the counteracting tendencies of its constituent elements to move in contrary directions (415b28–416a18). However, while Aristotle gives the form of a substance a role in explaining its persistence, the exact nature of this role has been misunderstood, or so I argue. Aristotle is often taken as claiming that the identity through time of a substance consists in sameness of form, and so, on this view, form explains persistence just by providing the conditions under which a substance existing at one time is identical to a substance existing at another, e.g., they have the same form. In contrast, I argue that, for Aristotle, form explains how, causally, substances are not destroyed, and so survive, as they are being changed. According to Aristotle, every substance belongs essentially to some kind, a kind characterized, in part, by various life activities. If a substance persists as it changes, it must remain the kind of thing it is, where this requires maintaining the ability to do the things that members of that kind do. Aristotle is particularly concerned with the way in which a body must be organized to support these activities, where this organization includes both processes that must occur within the body and the parts required to maintain those processes, especially as that body is changed. This organization Aristotle explains in terms of the form of the animal. Thus the form of the animal ultimately explains how the animal remains the same kind of thing and so is not destroyed as it is changed. I conclude by discussing how the causal role that Aristotle gives form in explaining persistence is both distinct and independent from any metaphysical role that form might have in explaining persistence.

Swanstrom, Julie. Assistant Professor, Armstrong Atlantic State University,
julie.swanstrom@armstrong.edu

“Aristotelian Species Essentialism in Aquinas and Darwin: A close look at Essentialism, Secondary Causation, and Evolution”

Aristotle’s essentialism appears in Aquinas’s discussions of secondary causality, the reliability of which depends on God giving created things determinate natures which dictate how physical objects can interact. Thomistic secondary causality depends upon essentialism to explain the efficacy and reliability of secondary causes. Aristotelian species essentialism and secondary causality play central roles in navigating Thomistic and Darwinian conceptions of the origination of species: Darwin seems to embrace secondary causality, yet Darwinian evolution denies species essentialism. I explore whether Aquinas’s appropriation of Aristotelian species essentialism is compatible with Darwinian evolution by analyzing Darwin’s and Aquinas’s conceptions of secondary causality and essentialism. Armand Maurer claimed that Darwin makes a metaphysical argument for evolution as secondary causes driving speciation, but Maurer’s claim that Darwin and Aquinas both employ secondary causality seems only trivially true: the absence of species essentialism in Darwin’s thought make his conception of secondary causality radically different than Aquinas’s.

Tuttle, Jacob. Adjunct Instructor, Loyola University Chicago,
dr.jake.tuttle@gmail.com

“Suarez on the Nature and Definition of Active Causal Powers”

Aristotelians understand active causal powers as, roughly, features that enable their subjects to perform certain sorts of actions. For example, a fire is able to heat in virtue of its power or capacity for heating. Although this account sheds light on the metaphysical or functional role that Aristotelians attribute to active powers, it does not tell us what sorts of things active powers are in themselves. In this paper, I clarify and motivate Suarez's views about the nature and ontological status of active powers. One of the paper's most important interpretive claims is that Suarez acknowledges two senses of the term 'active power' (potentia activa)--namely, a broad or 'transcendental' sense of the term, and a narrow or 'categorical' sense. This distinction explains why in some places Suarez restricts active powers to the second species of quality, whereas in other places he is willing to grant that other qualities, substantial forms, and even God himself function as active powers. In the last part of the paper, I show how Suarez's understanding of active powers motivates his position in a Scholastic controversy about the causal roles of substantial and accidental forms in the generation of substances.

Vlasits, Justin. Graduate Student, UC Berkeley,
jvlasits@berkeley.edu

“Aristotle on the Use and Abuse of Platonic Division in the Analytics”

While it is agreed that Aristotle was in some sense a critic of the method of division as developed by Plato and the Early Academy, Aristotle's considered views about it are far from clear. This paper brings together the three discussions of division in the Analytics (APr I.31, APo II.5, II.13) and shows how Aristotle thinks of what division can achieve as well as its limitations. Division, on Aristotle’s view, can be used to discover definitions of kinds which are not summa genera. However, the method presupposes some significant intellectual accomplishment before it can be employed, namely the aggregation of a large number of per se predicates of that kind. These presuppositions, however, cannot be discharged by the method of division itself. This constitutes Aristotle’s primary criticisms of the method: it cannot sufficiently argue for the presuppositions and it attempts to demonstrate definitions, which is not possible.

Ward, Julie. Professor, Loyola University Chicago,
Jward@luc.edu

“Aristotle on Definition: An Investigation Concerning ‘The Medical.’”

In his discussion of to on, or “being,” in Metaphysics IV, 2 Aristotle relaxes the requisite features a subject matter must have in order to be studied by a single science (Meta. IV, 2, 1003b12-15; An. Po. I, 28). To elucidate the kind of unity that to on possesses, Aristotle employs two ordinary terms, to hygieinon, “health,” and to iatrikon, “the medical,” to serve as his work-horses in Meta. IV, 2, VII, 4 and XI, 3. A further appearance of to iatrikon may be found in Aristotle’s explanation of the unity behind the kinds of philia in Eudemian Ethics VII, 2. The paper investigates the reasons why Aristotle concludes that various uses of to iatrikon are unified by reference to one primary use of the term, namely, iatrike, which signifies the medical art.





For information on the “Aquinas and the Arabs International Working Group,” click HERE.

Marquette Hall

Alumni Memorial Union,

Marquette University

Philosophy in the Abrahamic Traditions :

al-Farabi. 11-13 June 2014

For information, click HERE or visit abrahamictraditions.org.