Workshop 21. July 2019: As a Matter of Form


We would like to invite anyone interested to participate in a one-day workshop exploring topics such as form, essence, and hylomorphism.

The program begins at 9:30, and ends at 17:45. You are also welcome to join us for dinner on Saturday and Sunday.


Saturday 20.7:

20:00 Dinner at Otto's Restaurantshiff


Sunday 21.7:

 9:30-10:30        Ludger Jansen: On Hylomorphism in Social Ontology

10:30-11:00       Coffee break

11:00-12:00       Michael Wallner: Can Essences Explain Necessity?

12:00-14:00       Lunch buffet

14:00-15:00       Thomas Sattig: Reducing Parthood

15:00-15:15       Short break

15:15-16:15       Jonathan Barker: Form and Explanatory Autonomy

16:15-16:45       Coffee break

16:45-17:45       Kit Fine: Comments on the previous talks

19:30                 Dinner at Zwanzig12

Confirmed speakers:

Jonathan Barker (Virginia)

Kit Fine (NYU)

Ludger Jansen (Rostock & Bochum)

Thomas Sattig (Tübingen)

Michael Wallner (Graz)


Ludger Jansen (Rostock/Bochum)

Petter Sandstad (Rostock)

Venue: IBZ, Bergstraße 7a, 18057 Rostock

Registration:  There is no conference fee, but places are limited. Thus please register before 19th July by sending an e-mail to (also for further information) Petter Sandstad: petter.sandstaduni-rostockde

When registering, please let us know whether you would like to attend the dinners.

 PhilEvents site:



Jonathan Barker: Form and Explanatory Autonomy


Kit Fine: Comments on the previous talks

Kit Fine will give his comments and feedback to the previous four talks.

Ludger Jansen: On Hylomorphism in Social Ontology

Recently, Kit Fine and others have suggested to apply hylomorphistic accounts to social ontology. In this talk, I will probe this idea. I start by sketching a working definition of hylomorphism, and then discuss some cases that seem to invite a hylomorphic treatment, in particular groups and status entities. Then I turn to more sophisticated examples that seem to forbid an analysis in hylomorphic term, in particular to legal persons and to what Barry Smith has termed ‘free standing y-terms’. Finally, I discuss whether my account in my book „Gruppen und Institutionen“ is a hylomorphistic theory or not.

Thomas Sattig: Reducing Parthood

The aim is to reduce parthood in the realm of material objects to essence and grounding. The first step is to reduce parthood to slot-filling: a material object is structured by a certain arrangement of slots; and the fillers of these slots are the object's proper parts. The second step is to reduce slot-filling to essence and grounding. If this overarching reduction succeeds, it promises new metaphysical foundations for neo-Aristotelian mereology.

Michael Wallner: Can Essences Explain Necessity?

Lately the Finean idea that modal truths are true in virtue ofgrounded in, or explained by essentialist truths has been under attack. In this paper I am trying to meet this current criticism by alluding to the distinction between what could be called Reductive Finean Essentialism vs. Non-Reductive Finean Essentialism and to some of Bob Hale’s work on the latter.