Dr. Kathrin Koslicki: "Independence and Unity: A theory of fundamentality for substances"

March 13: (Lansdowne Lecture)

Dr. Kathrin Koslicki (University of Alberta)
Title: Independence and Unity: A theory of fundamentality for substances
David Strong C118 at 7:00pm

Abstract: For most of the second half of the twentieth century, ontology (the study of being) was construed as concerned primarily with questions of existence, i.e., questions of the form, "What is there?". In fact, however, some of the most interesting and important debates which properly belong to the study of being do not concern existential questions at all; rather, such disputes in some cases focus on non-existential disagreements over questions of fundamentality. A case in point is the dispute between Plato and Aristotle over whether particulars or universals should be assigned the ontologically fundamental role of substances. In this lecture, we will explore the question of how best to develop a broader conception of the study of being which does justice to such non-existential disputes over questions of fundamentality.