Ana Laura Edelhoff, Oxford, and Ekrem Çetinkaya, Uppsala

Joint Double Seminar – The Higher Seminar in the History of Philosophy, UU, and The Stockholm History of Philosophy Workshop, SU

(NB, time and venue)

13–15, Ana Laura Edelhoff, Somerville College Oxford: "Ontological Priority and Simultaneity Among Relatives in Aristotle’s Categories 7"

Both in the Categories and in the Metaphysics Aristotle is interested not only in classifying entities, but also in determining ontological dependencies among these entities. In Categories Aristotle is specifically interested in ontological dependence relations among relatives. I argue that Aristotle uses the following criterion for ontological priority (=asymmetric ontological dependence; Aristotle calls it “priority in nature”) in Categories:

– A is ontologically prior to B, if necessarily, A’s being implies B’s being, but, not necessarily, B’s being implies A’s being.

In addition, I will contend that Aristotle proposes the following account of simultaneity in nature (=symmetric ontological dependence):

– A and B are simultaneous in nature, iff necessarily, A’s being implies B’s being, and necessarily, B’s being implies A’s being; and neither is the cause of the other.

In the Categories Aristotle claims that all relatives reciprocate. He claims that in most cases relatives are simultaneous in nature, but in some cases there holds a priority in nature between them. I argue that these claims are in tension. Aristotle cannot reconcile his commitment that all relatives reciprocate with the claim that an ontological priority holds between in some cases. I then go on to argue that this tension cannot be resolved by bringing in the more nuanced account of relatives in the Metaphysics.


15–17, Ekrem Çetinkaya, Uppsala University: "Aristotle on Protagorean Relativism"

Coming soon