Aristotle's Physics


University of Lucerne, autumn term 2017
BA/MA Seminar
philipp.blum@philosophie.ch


Many thanks! I have enjoyed the seminar and learned a lot. Here is my evaluation.

Please find here a compilation of the handouts, minus the parts I am trying to turn into papers (cf. my research page).

This course also has a OLAT website.

Plan

Click here for the seminar plan.

date

topic/handout

contents

video

18.9.

Formalia
Introduction I

We discuss Aristotle's concepts of natural science, explanation and causation in relation to his metaphysics, in the context of a general account of Eutyphro questions.

25.9.

Introduction II

I summarise Marmodoro's Aristotle on Perceiving Objects and its conception of dunameis as powers.

9.10.

Book I

We discuss the anti-Platonic background of Book I and Aristotle's hylomorphic conception of change.

16.10.

Book II

We return to the question what theoretical role Aristotelian forms are assigned in their official introduction and discuss Aristotle's notion of nature and his distinction of four (be-)causes.

23.10.

Book II

We continue the discussion of the four (be-)causes and the primacy of teleological explanation for natural things.

30.10.

Book III

We discuss Aristotle's definition of change as the actuality of a potentiality as potentiality and the question in what sense he only accepts potential infinites.

6.11.

Book IV.1-5

We discuss Aristotle's account and definition of place and the correlative theory of motion as change of place.

13.11.

Book IV.10-14

We discuss, somewhat summarily, Aristotle's famous theory of time.

20.11.

Books V and VI

We discuss higher-order changes, the individuation of motions, continuity and the solution to Zeno's paradox of the runner.

27.11.

Book VII

We discuss Aristotle's first argument for an unmoved mover.

4.12

Book VIII

We discuss the arguments for the eternity of motion and from the regress of movers.

11.12.

Relations in Aristotle

I introduce the problem of relations and sketch Aristotle's solution to it.
[This is in the process of becoming a paper, cf. the research page)

18.12.

Kinesis

I discuss the students' presentations and sketch a conception of kinesis, the subject matter of the Physics, as process, a sui generis metaphysical category.



Conference

To complement the seminar and to offer participants the opportunity to try out their own Physics-related ideas, I organised a workshop in Ligerz: Aristotle's Physics from a Contemporary Perspective (click here for a programme), from January 26 to January 28, with Rögnvaldur Ingthorsson, David Ebrey, Jacob Rosen, Chiara Martini, Christian Pfeiffer, Jeannette Bölsterli-Stucki, Christoph Lichdi and Takashi Oki.