It was a long day yesterday at the Aristotelian Themes in Dependence, Modality, and Essence Workshop, organized by Mika Perälä and me. We started at 9am and went on to 6pm with a few breaks. We had thought that the 1,5h slots for each of the five speakers would be quite generous, but it turned out that discussion filled pretty much all the time we had — a positive thing, of course!
Lucas Angioni (Campinas, Brazil) gave a talk on ‘Essence, Causality and Necessity in Aristotle’s Theory of Scientific Explanation’, followed by Michail Peramatzis (Oxford) with ‘Essence and Necessity in Aristotle’. Both of the morning talks were historical and we had a good audience of ancient philosophers (including Miira Tuominen, who clarified some of Lucas’s points for us). Michail’s talk was especially interesting for myself, since he has worked on priority in Aristotle and knows the contemporary literature on the themes of the workshop quite well.
My own talk on ‘Grounding Modality in Essence’ was perhaps too contemporary for this workshop, but I happened to have some slides for it from a previous occasion and it certainly fit the theme. Some good discussion followed in any case. Benjamin Schnieder (Hamburg) gave a more general talk on ‘Grounding and Dependence’, taking Schaffer as a foil and laying out the options regarding the connection between ontological dependence and grounding. Very interesting talk, and so clearly presented that I think non-experts were quite able to follow as well. Mika Perälä finished with a talk on ‘Aristotle on ouk aneu Dependence’, in which he explored the connection between the more general issues about priority in Aristotle with his own interests regarding thought and appearance.
We were all quite tired by the end — I should take the opportunity to thank the audience for their contributions and attention! Special thanks to my fellow founder of Dynamis, Jani Hakkarainen, who served as a chair (we announced The Finnish Network for Metaphysics just before my talk). We’d also like to thank the Academy of Finland and our Department for financial support.