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: 15.05.2023.
Registration is closed.


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.

Room A23
Red Building

Topics in Philosophy of Science

What is called “quantum theory” is not actually a physical theory, i.e. a specification of a clear physical ontology and dynamics. This conceptual failure manifests itself in many ways, perhaps the most prominent of which is called the “measurement problem” (but which Philip Pearle has accurately called a “reality problem”). We will investigate the structure of quantum mechanics as it is usually presented and then look at several distinct physical theories that can recover—or nearly recover—the predictions made by using the quantum formalism in the usual way. We will pay particular attention to general results about physical reality, particularly Bell’s Theorem and the PBR theorem.

In the 2022 Autumn Semester, prospective students joined the following lectures: