The View from Above: Structure, Emergence, and Causation

11th-12th January 2018
MBI Auditorium, Corpus Christi College, Oxford




It's a common accepted assumption that reality includes the chemical, biological, and psychological, but are they anything over and above the physical? Or can they all be reduced somehow to the physical? Reductionism has been challenged by various forms of emergentism, which many philosophers still see as unsatisfactory. One alternative way to think about this issue, which has recently come to the fore in the metaphysical debates, is along the lines of Aristotle's Hylomorphism, a view that takes structure and organization to play a pivotal metaphysical role. The aim of this conference is to discuss the assumptions of Hylomorphism, and how it bears on reductionism in relation to special sciences (such as chemistry and biology) and in the philosophy of mind.



William Jaworski (Fordham University)
Hylomorphic Structure, Emergence, and Supervenience [abstract]
Christopher J. Austin (University of Oxford)
A Biologically Informed Hylomorphism [abstract]
David Yates (University of Lisbon)
Powerful Qualities as the Key to Emergent Downward Causation [abstract]
Howard Robinson (Central European University)
Hylomorphism, natural science, mind and God [abstract]
Robert Koons (University of Texas-Austin)
Modal Epistemology and the Formal Identity of Intellect and Object [abstract]


Registration fee includes coffee breaks, drinks and sandwich lunch:

  • Standard registration: 25
  • Student registration: 20

Registration is now open via our online shop. Deadline for registration: December 20th, 2017

The program is here.

Please direct any queries to the conference organisers: Matteo Grasso ( or Anna Marmodoro (