Current Projects

Current Research Projects

1. Aristotle's Material Elements

I finished a draft of a monograph, tentatively titled Aristotle's Material Elements. More details are available on the Elements page.


This book offers a study of Aristotle’s material elements as they appear within his natural philosophy, and particularly, in On Generation and Corruption 2.1-4, Physics 8.4, and De Caelo 4. The book defends the view that Aristotle possesses an account of simple bodies that remains consistent across these texts; the apparent differences between his account of elemental motion and the elemental transformations are methodological, not doctrinal. In defending this view, the book develops an account of the powers of bodies, and shows that inanimate bodies possess powers that explain their changes in the categories of quality, quantity, and place. A consequence of the account is that Aristotle’s simple bodies are substances of a special kind: they are unable to change with respect to quality, quantity, or place without also undergoing substantial change.

2. Inanimate Materials in Aristotle

a. A few projects on Meteorology 4:

  • One focuses on the role of heat and cold, and makes a case for teleological explanation in Meteorology 4.1-11. Draft available.

  • The other focuses on the relationship between efficient causes, matter, and processes (such as solidification) in Meteorology 4.4-10, and makes the case that Aristotle considers composite sublunary materials to have a hylomorphic structure, but no independent final cause. Draft available.

b. Related issues in GC 1.8-10:

  • Pores in Aristotle's natural philosophy: inspired by some oddities in Meteorology 4.9; these might be better explained by passages in GC 1.8-9.

  • The process of mixing in GC 1.10: I think that there is a way to explain why mixing (in GC 1.10 specifically) is different from mere alteration or substantial change, and it is analogous to processes such as solidification and melting in Meteorology 4.4-10.

3. Other

  • Interpretative essay on Aristotle's On Generation and Corruption 2.5 - complete draft; for an edited volume on GC 2.5.

  • "Distinguishing Principles in Aristotle's Elemental Transformations" - complete draft; focus on GC 1.4 and Physics 1.7 (and an homage to Sarah Broadie.)

4. Long-term projects, some ongoing for years now...

  • Unearthing the metals in Aristotle's Meteorology

  • Incomplete and indeterminate quantity in Aristotle

  • Aristotle's geometrical objects

  • Material explanation in Posterior Analytics 2

  • Philoponus on matter and extension in De Aeternitate Mundi Contra Proclum 11