Research Areas - Aristotle


Marmodoro's account of Aristotle's Power Structuralism is forthcoming here:

'Potentiality in Aristotle's Metaphysics', in K Engelhard and M Quante (eds.) The Handbook of Potentiality, Springer, 2013.

Marmodoro argues that Aristotle is committed to an ontology of pure powers, and defends this view against a regress argument (due to Psillos 2006) which purported to debunk pandispositionalism, i.e the view that pure powers are all there is in ontology.  M. argues that the regress in its most general formulation was diagnosed first by Aristotle, who also provided a solution for it. Aristotle’s solution fits all the constraints of the contemporary power-version of the regress, and establishes the consistency of a metaphysics of pure powers. See:

‘Do powers need powers to make them powerful? From Pandispositionalism to Aristotle,' History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2009.

M.'s interpretation of Aristotle's theory of causation as activation of causal powers is here:

‘The Union of Cause and Effect in Aristotle: Physics III 3’, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, 32, pp. 205–232, 2007.

In this article, M. argues that Aristotle introduced a unique realist account of causation: causal realism without a causal relation. Aristotle's solution to the problem of causation consists in positing causal powers (potentialities) that belong to one subject but are realized in another subject, on whose state their realization depends. Cause and effect are unified in a single activity of the agent in the patient.  In the article, M. identifies and analyses the ontological dependencies between the state of the agent and that of the patient during their causal interaction. The article is one of the recommended readings for Aristotle’s Natural Philosophy in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. More on the same topic in this forthcoming article:

'Causation without glue: Aristotle on causal powers' forthcoming in C. Viano (ed.), Les Quatre Causes d'Aristote. Origines et interprétations. Peeters, Louvain, 2013.

For a contemporary rendition of Aristotle's view about perceptual causal powers, in relation to De Anima III 2, see: ‘It’s a Colorful World’, American Philosophical Quarterly, 43:1, pp. 71-80, 2006.