CFP: Definitions between Plato and Aristotle

Submission deadline: July 31, 2023

Conference date(s):
November 17, 2023 - November 18, 2023

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, University of Fribourg
Fribourg, Switzerland

Topic areas


Definitions clearly play a pivotal role in Plato’s and Aristotle’s thinking. Both believe that definitions are a – if not the – main goal (and, at the same time, an indispensable prerequisite) of philosophical and scientific inquiry. They are both preoccupied with similar issues: Which method(s) should we use in searching for definitions? What things are suitable to be defined? What is the special ontological status of definable objects? What are the requirements for an appropriate definition?

On the other hand, there are also important discontinuities between Aristotle’s and Plato’s approach to definitions. Aristotle’s criticism of Plato’s account of definition shows that he rejects some of the core tenets of this account.

Our workshop aims to illuminate the complicated relation between the Platonic and the Aristotelian perspective on definitions. We are thus especially interested in papers with a comparative character, but we also welcome papers which focus exclusively on the Platonic or the Aristotelian theory and practice of definition.

The main languages of the conference will be English, German, and French, but papers in other languages will be considered too. We especially welcome applications from women and any other underrepresented group in Ancient Philosophy.

Guide for the submission of abstracts:

The deadline to submit abstracts (800 to 1000 words) is Monday, 31st July 2023. Anonymous abstracts should be submitted via email to Stéphanie Jorge-Niklaus ([email protected]).

The selected applicants will receive notification of acceptance together with further information about the conference (including information about subsidies for travel and accommodation) before 15th August 2023. For any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact the organising committee.

The organising committee:

Béatrice Lienemann ([email protected])

David Meißner ([email protected])

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