boris hennig

Four Causes (349 pp., pdf)

On Aristotle's four causes: matter, form and essence, classification, causation, teleology and teleological / practical reasoning.

Über die "Ursachen" von Texten ( abstract, pdf)

On applying Aristotle's four causes in hermeneutics. I ask why Aristotle's causes are four and what they are meant to apply to. Then I discuss Walter of Bruge's treatise on the Four Causes of Theology.

The Man Without Properties (abstract, pdf)

Aristotle's essences are not properties, and certain passages in Aristotle make sense only if we do not take accidents to be properties either.

Instance is the Converse of Aspect (abstract, pdf)

According to Donald Baxter's Aspect Theory of Instantiation, a particular instantiates a universal when an aspect of the particular is also an aspect of the universal. According to an improved version of this account, this happens when the universal itself is an aspect of the particular.

Plato's Ingredient Principle (abstract, pdf)

We can accept Plato's "ingredient principle" when we replace the distinction between things and properties with a slightly different one.

The Four Causes (abstract, pdf)

The Aristotelian doctrine of four causes naturally arises from the combination of the two distinctions (a) between things and changes, and (b) between that which potentially is a certain thing or change and what it potentially is.

On What a Virtue Is (pdf)

Virtues are not character traits of individual agents, but generic ways of acting; this is why Anscombe found them important, and this is how Aristotle talks about them.

The Inner Man as Substantal Form (pdf)

When Descartes calls the soul of a human being an immaterial substance, he does not contradict the Aristotelian doctrine according to which the soul of a person is the substantial form of her body.

Cartesian Conscientia (pdf)

Descartes uses 'conscientia' in the traditional sense, roughly meaning 'moral conscience'.

Two Epistemic Directions of Fit (short version, pdf)

I use Austin's distinction of two directions of fit in order to explain how a priori knowledge is possible.


Areas of Interest
Action Theory / Ethics
Master thesis
PhD thesis