Philosophies in the Mediterranean - Yesterday and Today 
2018: Aristotle's Metaphysics - Yesterday and Today

International Summer School, Falconara, Sicily: September 3-6, 2018
International Conference, Palermo, Sicily: September 7 and 8, 2018

Together with the University of Lugano, ου̉σία, the Centre for the Philosophy and Theology of Being at the University of Lucerne is organising an international conference and summerschool in Palermo, as part of the Swiss Doctoral Programme in Philosophy.

Please find the full programme here.

Participants. Enrico Berti, Christof Rapp, Yossef Schwartz, Nadja Germann, Pasquale Porro, Kevin Mulligan, Anna Marmodoro, Peter Simons, Laurent Cesalli, Gyula Klima, Leonardo Samonà, Patrizia Laspia, Dimitri Gutas, Manuel García-Carpintero, Mélike Ouelbani, Giovanni Ventimiglia, Gilles Kepel, Sir Anthony Kenny, Philipp Blum, Damiano Costa.

Rationale. In recent years, the Mediterranean has mostly made negative headlines, as a theatre of war and desperation. Sadly, this has almost eclipsed the many much more optimistic signs. The sea that has shaped European history is once more about to become an important arena of international collaboration, of collaborative research and intercultural exchange. Palermo in particular has become a laboratorium for new integrative opportunities. It has been selected as Italian's Capital of Culture for the year 2018 and will host the Manifesta, an international art fair. This is not by accident: Sicily has integration in its DNA, having been the centre of the mediterrean realm in the 12th and the 13th century, combining ancient Greek, Islamic, Jewish and early Christian culture in an unique way. Interreligious dialogue, in particular, has been one of the main areas of focus of Palermo's mayor and he intends to pursue further steps in this direction. In recent years, research in the history of philosophy has shed new light on this important period of European history, and newly established research centres on the shores of the Mediterranean have picked up the fallen torch, reinvigorating European research with new ideas. It is only appropriate, therefore, to present the state of the art of this research in Sicily.

CfP. The MAP - the research master in metaphysics and philosophy of mind of the University of Italian Switzerland, Lugano, and the chair of philosophy of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Lucerne are organising a Summer School on Aristotle's metaphysics at the very, very beautifully located Castello di Falconara in Sicily. The Summer School is followed by an international conference in Palermo (Palazzo Lanza Tomasi), in which Sir Anthony Kenny, like most of the speakers of the Summer School, will participate.
We invite applications for 15 fully subsidised places. Prospective applicants are invited to send a text of not more than one page, suitable for blind refereeing and in pdf format, to Philipp Blum by May 31 (notification of acceptance mid-June). The text should briefly mention a problem in contemporary philosophy or in history of philosophy and then sketch a solution in broadly Aristotelian terms, without detailed references or arguments, but making at least one specific reference to Aristotle. Texts of successful applicants will be distributed to participants in advance, so as to stimulate discussion.
Successful applicants will have their accommodation (possibly in shared rooms) covered. They will be wined and dined and will receive a contribution towards their travel costs.

Summer School, Castello di Falconara

Aristotle's Metaphysics in the Mediterranean - Yesterday
Chair: Enrico Berti, Emeritus Professor of Ancient Philosophy, University of Padua
Monday morning 3.9.2018
Christof Rapp (Professor of Ancient Philosophy, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich): Aristotle's Metaphysics: State of The Art

Monday afternoon 3.9.2018
Yossef Schwartz (Professor of Medieval Philosophy, Tel Aviv University): Aristotle's Metaphysics in Medieval Jewish Philosophy

Tuesday morning 4.9.2018
Nadja Germann (Professor of Philosophy, Albert Ludwig University, Freiburg): Aristotle's Metaphysics in Medieval Islamic Philosophy

Tuesday afternoon 4.9.2018
Pasquale Porro (Professor of Medieval Philosophy, Sorbonne, Paris): Aristotle's Metaphysics in Medieval Christian philosophy  
Aristotle's Metaphysics - Today
Chair: Kevin Mulligan, Professor of Philosophy, University of Italian Switzerland
Wednesday morning 5.9.2018
Anna Marmodoro (Professor of Metaphysics, Durham University and University of Oxford): Hylomorphism

Wednesday afternoon 5.9.2018
Peter Simons (Professor of Philosophy, Trinity College, Dublin): Categories

Wednesday, evening lecture
Laurent Cesalli (Professor of Medieval Philosophy, University of Geneva): Aristotelianism and the Austrian tradition

Thursday morning 6.9.2018
Gyula Klima (Professor of Philosophy, Fordham University, New York): Essentialism

International Conference, Palermo

Friday 7.9.2018, Palazzo Lanza Tomasi
  • 9.00-9.15 Welcome: Leonardo Samonà, Professor of Theoretical Philosophy, University of Palermo
  • 9.15-10.00 The music of the heavens. Aristotle against Plato and the Pythagoreans: Patrizia Laspia, Professor of Ancient Philosophy, University of Palermo
  • 10.00-10.45 The Reception of Aristotelian Philosophy in Early Islam: Dimitri Gutas, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Yale University
  • 11.15-12.00 The Unique Path of Late Medieval Jewish Metaphysics: Yossef Schwartz, Professor of Medieval Philosophy, Tel Aviv University
  • 12.00-12.45 Homonymy, Synonymy and Analogy between Aristotle and his Latin Reception: Pasquale Porro, Professor of Medieval Philosophy, Sorbonne, Paris
  • 15.00-15.45 Philosophy of Language vs/& Metaphysics?: Manuel García-Carpintero, Professor of Philosophy, University of Barcelona
  • 16.00-16.45 Anti-Metaphysics – between Schlick and Carnap: Mélika Ouelbani, Professor of Philosophy, University of Tunis
Friday Evening 21.00 Spasimo Church Palermo
  • Introduction: Giovanni Ventimiglia, Professor of Philosophy, University of Lucerne
  • Public Lecture: Greek into Arabic into Latin (Sicily's Historical Languages). Translation and Civilization in the Middle Ages: Dimitri Gutas, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Yale University
Saturday 8.9.2018, Palazzo Sant’Elia
  • 9.00-9.45 The Mediterranean Today: Gilles Kepel, Political Scientist and Orientalist, École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and University of Italian Switzerland, Lugano
  • 10.00-11.30 Roundtable: How to create a Mediterranean Centre of Philosophy (chair: Kevin Mulligan, Professor of Philosophy, University of Italian Switzerland, Lugano) with Manuel García-Carpintero (University of Barcelona), Mélika Ouelbani (University of Tunis), Leonardo Samonà (University of Palermo), Yossef Schwartz (University of Tel Aviv).
  • 11.30-12.00 Conclusions: Giovanni Ventimiglia, Professor of Philosophy, University of Lucerne


  • Organisation: Giovanni Ventimiglia, Kevin Mulligan, Philipp Blum.
  • Institutional relations and event management - Sicily: Maria Stella Wirz.

Press coverage

  • Our conference features in the annual report of the University of Lucerne.