Complexity, Emergence, and Downward Causation: An updated version of Aristotle's forms of causation
G. F. R. Ellis

June 9, 2022, 8:00pm - 10:00pm
Institute of Philosophy, Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg

Würzburg 97070


  • Emmy Noether Research Group: Practical Reasons Before Kant (1720-1780)


Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg
Julius-Maximilians-Universität, Würzburg

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“Reasons, causes, and moral agents” is an invited speaker series to be held at the Universität Würzburg at various dates in 2022 and early 2023. The guiding purpose of the series is, in short, to consider different approaches to the titular themes over a broad timeframe. This theme can be restated as: kinds of reasons and causes that are involved in making possible or bringing about our choices and activities, most specifi-cally in the area of morality, though not exclusively.

Prof. G. F. R. Ellis of the University of Capetown (UCT) will open our series with a talk entitled “Complexity, Emergence, and Downward Causation: An updated version of Aristotle’s forms of causation”.

This event will be held at Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg in the magnificent Toscana Hall at the Residenz in Würzburg on Thursday 9th June 2022 at 8pm-10pm CET. The lecture itself will be held in English.

Professor Ellis is currently Professor Emeritus of the Mathematics Department at Cape Town and G. C. McVittie Visiting Professor of Astronomy at Queen Mary University of London. He has held positions and visiting professorships in Hamburg, Trieste, Boston, Chicago, Texas, Oxford, Cambridge, and Trinity College. In addition to his numerous academic-scientific achievements, and awards for his services to science given by various organisations and world leaders, he is an authority on complex systems and top-down causation. Prof. Ellis has published quite extensively on top-down causation and its relation to the human mind, and is engaged deeply in philosophy. His is a rare standpoint that bestrides fields of inquiry often separated in academia.

In-person spaces will, of course, be limited, but attendance is also possible via Zoom. Please contact us at either of the email addresses given below to register, indicating whether in-person attendance or attendance via Zoom is your preference. We will advise as required whether any in-person places remain available.

Contact and registration at:
[email protected]
[email protected]

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June 1, 2022, 12:00am CET

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