Seminar on the Omnipresence of the Immaterial Causes

The seminar will focus on the kind of presence and causal relationship of immaterial entities in the physical world. There is a variety of such relationships, depending on the kinds of entities in question. They include the presence of Platonic Forms in the sensible entities, of soul to body, including that of the Platonic world soul in the world body, of divine intellect in the universe. There is an ontological issue about how entities that belong to different categories can causally interact, an epistemological issue about the explanatory status of immaterial causal entities, and a problem about the capacity of language to represent immaterial entities and do justice to their causal role. The seminar will discuss these issues with reference to key passages in Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Alexander of Aphrodisias, Plotinus, Origen and Gregory of Nyssa.

Seminar meets weekly on fridays from 15:00 to 17:00 during summer term.