Ancient Metaphysics Anyone?

Anna Marmodoro, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Oxford’s Corpus Christi College, just received a five year, £1m, grant from the European Research Council to study “Power structuralism in ancient ontologies.”

The project aims to bring about a paradigm shift in our understanding of how the ancients conceived of the universe and its contents, over a period of nine centuries, 600 BC to 300 AD. The driving research hypothesis is that the sole elementary building blocks of nearly all ancient ontologies are powers, from which all there is in the universe is built. Powers are ontologically dependent properties, which are directed towards an end (e.g. the power to heat); thus a world of powers is structured in a web of ontological dependencies. Such ontologies underlie object-metaphysics or process-metaphysics, and worlds of being and becoming, supplying structures from which objects and processes are derived.

As Brian Leiter says, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of such a generous grant for a project in ancient philosophy.” I guess this will make all you Assyriologists and Hebraists rush off and refresh you knowledge of Greek and Latin. I know you’re only in this for the money.