What is Power Structuralism?


‘Power Structuralism’ is an expression introduced by Dr Marmodoro (2010) and used for two distinct purposes: as a new approach to the study and understanding of Ancient Greek Philosophy; and as a novel neo-Aristotelian metaphysical system. In its first use, it refers to a method of studying, in the first instance, the metaphysical systems of the main ancient thinkers of the first millennium of Western thought. The method consists in exploring the ancient metaphysical systems as power ontologies, namely as ontologies whose most fundamental building-blocks are powers.

In its second use, the expression ‘Power Structuralism’ refers to a power ontology that is under development by Dr Marmodoro. This ontology leans on Aristotle’s own power ontology with respect to its essential metaphysical intuitions, but is developed in new directions within the context of contemporary metaphysical questions and debates. The most characteristic features of Power Structuralism are that fundamental powers are ‘directed’ at other, partner powers, with which they can co-manifest; that their directedness reflects ontological dependencies between the partner powers; that the ontological dependencies comprise the structure of fundamental powers at the bedrock of reality; and that there are no (polyadic) relations in this fundamental ontology.