Doctoral course on Aristotle's natural concepts

The University of Oslo (IFIKK) invites you to register for the doctoral course

Aristotle’s Natural Concepts

This seminar will examine the main concepts, models, and modes of explanation used by Aristotle in his science of nature, the study of things qua moveable: change, potentiality/capacity, actuality/activity, and nature, defined as a thing’s inner source of motion and rest. Matter and form and Aristotle’s hylomorphism will be discussed in connection with those themes. Aristotle develops two potentiality–actuality models, the first concerned with change and generation, the second concerned with activity and substantial being (οὐσία), and we shall explore the way he applies those models in distinguishing between change and activity. On the final day we shall consider how Aristotle applies those concepts and models and various types of explanation (formal, efficient, final, and material causes) in the most fundamental area of his biology: nutrition, organic self-maintenance, and perishing.


Prof. Mary Louise Gill (Brown University)

Main primary texts

Physics I.7–8, II.1–3, III.1–3, De Anima II.1–5, Generation and Corruption I.7, Meteorology IV.12, Metaphysics VIII.6, IX.1, 6–8.

Time and place

Tuesday 28 August: Room 211 (10:15–12:00) and room 213 (13:30–15:15), Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo

Wednesday 29 August: Room 111 (10:15–15:15), Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo

Thursday 30 August: Room 111 (10:15–15:15), Georg Morgenstiernes hus, University of Oslo

Practical information

  • The course is aimed at doctoral students in philosophy, but students from related fields and other researchers are also welcome.
  • It gives 3 ECTS, for reading preparatory readings, participating, and submitting a paper (5000 words).
  • It is free, but transportation and accommodation have to be arranged and financed by the participants themselves.
  • Knowledge of Greek is strongly recommended, but not strictly required.
  • Please apply by sending a CV and a short account of your reason for wishing to participate to the organizers. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.

For further information, please write us.


Hilde Vinje (doctorand in philosophy, IFIKK, University of Oslo),

Lars Gjoevikli (doctorand in philosophy, IFIKK, University of Oslo),

Published Aug. 9, 2018 10:57 PM - Last modified Aug. 27, 2018 10:53 AM