“Ontology has been characterized as the study of the most general kinds that exist in the universe. Usually the emphasis has been on demarcation: which candidates for existence really do exist. Aristotle and Plato disagreed in their answers, and philosophers have gone on disagreeing ever since” (Ian Hacking, Historical Ontology, London 2006). Few contemporary philosophers would dispute the fact that ontology was born in Greece and that the contemporary debate reflects some of the stances taken by ancient authors with regard to the main ontological questions – the universals, the essence, the status of concrete objects, causality, the inventory of existing things. Being lay at the centre of Parmenides and Plato’s reflection; however, it was Aristotle who first distinguished a science which does not study anything in particular – as astronomy studies heavenly phenomena and botany plants – but rather seeks to investigate everything that is in terms of its existence. Platonism and Aristotelianism strung together centuries of philosophical debate, paving the way for Plotinus’ complex philosophical undertaking.
In contemporary philosophy, both on the continental side (Heidegger) and on the analytical one (Quine), ontology played a central role throughout the 20th century. Indeed, it may be argued that many of the most relevant contributions to contemporary metaphysics concern ontology and what van Inwagen has termed “meta-ontology”. Just what ontology is and – to quote Achille Varzi’s perspicuous formulation – “where it begins and where it ends”, however, remains problematic. What we find is a tendency among philosophers to consider the debate on ancient ontology to have somehow been resolved, or at any rate to view it as the exclusive concern of historians. The aim of this volume is to suggest a different course of enquiry, with a twofold purpose. On the one hand, it expresses the ambition to return to ancient ontology in the light of the achievements made by the contemporary debate. On the other hand, the volume seeks to illustrate how some of the questions raised in Antiquity are just as interesting today and provide some interesting and original philosophical perspectives with regard to the contemporary debate. The investigation will therefore be conducted in keeping with a historical methodology, yet with a distinctly philosophical focus. The areas to which authors are invited to contribute are: a) Parmenides’ philosophy; b) the thought of Plato and Aristotle; c) Hellenistic philosophy; d) late-antique thought.
Guidelines for the authors: contributions may be submitted in Italian, English, German or French. The manuscripts must be sent in a Word format, along with a .pdf version, as an email attachment to Filippo Forcignanò (firstname.lastname@example.org). The contributions will be sent to two independent reviewers, according to the double-blind review procedure. The reviewers may ask authors to make changes or improvements to their contributions for the sake of publication. Authors are kindly requested to attach both an anonymous version of their contribution entitled “Manuscript” and a separate “Cover Page” stating their name, academic title, university (or institute), and contact details. The Manuscript must include an English-language abstract of less than 150 words and 5 keywords. Any property of the file that might identify the author must be removed, so as to ensure anonymity during the review process. A notification of receipt will be issued for each text. In drafting his or her contribution, an author can adopt any clear and coherent style, but should the text be accepted for publication, the author will be required to send a final version in keeping with the editorial guidelines of the journal (please refer to the editorial guidelines on page http://www.disciplinefilosofiche.it/norme-redazionali/). By submitting a manuscript, the author is acknowledging that the text has not previously been published elsewhere and that it is not currently being considered for publication by any other journal. Should the manuscript be accepted for publication, the author will be required to transfer copyrights to the University of Bologna. Requests to republish the article may be made to the Editorial Board of the Journal. Deadline for the submission of manuscripts: September 30, 2017. Notification of receipt, conditional acceptance, or rejection: November 30, 2017. Deadline for the submission of the final draft: January 15, 2018.