Conference “Features of Substantiality in Aristotle”

July 3, 2024


Conference Features of Substantiality in Aristotle

University of Lisbon,  3rd-5th of July 2024


We are delighted to announce our upcoming conference Features of Substantiality in Aristotle. It will take place from the 3rd to the 5th of July 2024 at the Centre of Philosophy of the University of Lisbon (CFUL). The conference will be entirely on-site. Attendance is free and open to the public. The venue will be accessible for people with physical disabilities.


A detailed programme will be added shortly.



Andrea Buongiorno (University of Oxford)

Ulysse Chaintreuil (University Paris Nanterre)

David Charles (Yale University)

Klaus Corcilius (Eberhard Karls University Tübingen)

Silvia Fazzo (University of Eastern Piedmont “Amadeo Avogadro”)

Mary Louise Gill (Brown University)

Zoé McConaughey (Lille University)

António Pedro Mesquita (University of Lisbon)

Pierre-Marie Morel (University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Wolfgang Sattler (University of Lisbon)

Raphael Zillig (Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul)



Topic: It is a central question in Aristotle’s ontology what it is for something to be a substance. Aristotle characterises substances as such in different ways, including as being: separate, or separable (choriston); a this-something (tode ti) and what something is (ti esti); what it is in its own right (kath’hauto); something definite (horismenon); and a subject or substrate (hypokeimenon). However, among these ‘features’ of substantiality, some are notoriously hard to grasp and have sparked considerable debates in the literature. It is also not fully clear how all these features relate to each other. For example, there is a long-lasting controversy about what it means for a substance to be separate, whether this should be understood in terms of existential independence, or in terms of essential independence, or in some other way. And it is disputed whether substantial forms are separate or not. Another controversy concerns the question of what it means to be a this-something (tode ti), whether it just means to be a particular (falling under a substance kind), or to be something definite and determinate, or to be such that no element of the account of the thing is predicated of another, or something else. And it is disputed whether it is the individual sensible substance, or the form, that is a this-something in the primary sense.

            The aim of the conference is to discuss the different features of substantiality as they figure both in Aristotle’s ontological works and also in his other (biological, ethical etc.) works, in order to gain a better understanding of them, and their relation to each other.



Organisers: Wolfgang Sattler, António Pedro Mesquita.



Acknowledgements: This event is funded by the European Union through the European Research Executive Agency within the project “On the Substantiality of Aristotelian Substances (project number 101090320, HORIZON TMA MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships – European Fellowships); and by the Portuguese national funds through FCT – Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia, I.P., within the projects “Complete Works of Aristotle: Translation and Commentary” (PTDC/FER-FIL/0305/2021), and UIDB/00310/2020.


Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or European Research Executive Agency. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.