[SydPhil] University of Sydney Philosophy Seminar Series: Jessica Gelber

Ryan Cox ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au
Mon Mar 6 16:12:33 AEDT 2023

Hi everyone,

This week’s speaker in the University of Sydney Philosophy Seminar Series is Jessica Gelber (University of Toronto).

The title of Jessica’s talk is “Aristotle on Interspecies Relations”. Here’s the abstract for Jessica’s talk:

Scientific explanations of the relations that hold between kinds (what I am calling “relational facts”) is challenging (if not impossible) by the lights of Aristotelian science. However, Aristotle is aware that there are many such facts:

  *   In Historia Animalium, various ways that kinds of living organisms are related to other kinds of living organisms – being predators of one kind or prey for another, for example — appear to be treated as regularly occurring features of their lives, just as the shapes and sizes of their body parts or their manners of reproduction are.
  *   In his Politics, Aristotle even seems to claim that living kinds that humans use (for food and assistance) are naturally there to be used by us.

I argue that we ought to take these reports about relational facts at face value, rather than try to contextualize or dismiss them. I propose that Aristotle has a much richer conception of the natures or essences of living beings than is traditionally thought, and consequently he does have the resources to explain the relations between living kinds using the principles that his science countenances.

The talk will take place on Wednesday the 8th of March at 3:30 p.m. in the Philosophy Seminar Room (N494) in the Quadrangle and will be simulcast via Zoom: https://uni-sydney.zoom.us/j/88699564848.

The talk will be followed by drinks and informal discussion at the Rose. All welcome!

Enquiries about the seminar series can be directed to ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au<mailto:ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au>

Ryan Cox
Associate Lecturer in Philosophy
Discipline of Philosophy
School of Humanities
University of Sydney
ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au<mailto:ryan.cox at sydney.edu.au>

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