Colloquium “Being before Aristotle”

As befits our field of study, we will do things as they were done in the good ancient days: in person and offline (unless official measures oblige us to keep our distance).

Those interested in the historical origins of ontology should visit us, as we will have outstanding speakers. The attached poster shows the program.

Here is some context:

Aristotle’s elaborate theory of the multiple senses of being did not come out of nowhere. It was the culmination of an epoch-making discussion on the logical and semantic function of the verb εἰμί ‘am’ (≈ to be), as well as on the relation of this verb to truth and reality. We are certainly capable of naming some of those who contributed directly or indirectly to the classical concept of being, but the details of each particular contribution are less well known than would be desirable. Parmenides and Plato are the most visible figures of this historical process, but other thinkers also influenced the philosophical concept of being as we find it in Aristotle. Mention should be made, for instance, of emblematic sophists, such as Gorgias and Protagoras, but also of lesser-known figures, such as Antisthenes. To shed light on the ancient Greek concept of being, the colloquium “Being before Aristotle” will bring together scholars working on this area. Each of them will focus on a single thinker and address at least one of the following questions: (1) Was there a theory of predication, definition, enunciation, proposition, or assertion before Aristotle? (2) Was there a logical or linguistic approach to the notion of being before Aristotle?

This colloquium is part of the FWF-Projekts M 3075-G:
“Klassische Ontologie: Die Untersuchung des Seienden durch eine flektierte prädikative Struktur”
Universität Wien, Institut für Philosophie
(Forschungsbereich Antike Philosophie)

Ricardo Alcocer Urueta, George Karamanolis
Marietta-Blau-Saal (University of Vienna, Main Building)