Master Meetings

Have you decided on which Master programme to study? Would you like more information on the contents and teaching methods at USI? Register at our Master Meetings to attend courses.
The various Master Meetings offer you the opportunity to follow lectures together with the current master students. Guided by a USI student, you can visit the campus and make up your mind as to whether the contents correspond to your study ambitions.

Next appointment: 21-25 November 2022.

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Room A23
Red Building

Metaphysics and Physics

This seminar provides an overview on the most burning questions and the most intriguing answers concerning the existence and nature of time. And it does so combining the perspectives of analytic metaphysics and philosophy of physics. In it, we will investigate questions concerning the passage of time, the distinction between past, present, and future, the existence of past and future entities, the way in which modern physics, and relativity theory in particular, requires us to overturn our views on space and time, and, finally, the question whether time exists at all.

Room A23
Red Building


This seminar will examine recent developments of the doctrine of hylomorphism, in particular in its application to the case of concrete particular objects (e.g., living organisms). Concrete particular objects figure saliently in our everyday experience as well as our scientific theorizing about the world. The literature is divided over whether these entities are or are not further analyzable into more basic constituents: so-called “relational ontologies” (e.g., Platonism) or “blob ontologies” (e.g., nominalism) hold that concrete particular objects are not further analyzable into more basic constituents, while so-called “layer cake” or “constituent ontologies” (e.g., bundle theories or substratum theories) hold that concrete particular objects are further analyzable into more basic constituents. The Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism can be interpreted as yielding a further type of constituent ontology, according to which concrete particular objects are analyzed as compounds of matter (hyle) and form (morphe or eidos). I argue in my book, Form, Matter, Substance (Oxford University Press, 2018), that a hylomorphic analysis of concrete particular objects is well-equipped to compete with alternative approaches when measured against a wide range of criteria of success. In addition, hylomorphism is designed to meet further challenges which have not been emphasized much in recent times. A successful development of this doctrine, however, hinges on how hylomorphists conceive of (i) the matter composing a concrete particular object; (ii) its form; and (iii) the hylomorphic relations which hold between the matter, the form, and the hylomorphic compound. In this seminar, we will discuss different answers to these questions, as they have been proposed in the recent literature on hylomorphism.