Call for Panels/Papers "Understanding Matter"

How do we experience matter? Does it present itself to the senses? Or is it only an empty substratum that cannot be grasped if deprived of all sensible qualities? Is it perceived as a continuum, or rather intellectually reconstructed through mental and logical forms? Or is it that the very idea of a continuum in itself the outcome of mental abstraction? And what about the 
status of matter in light of contemporary subatomic physics? Is matter an unpredictable 
flux of pure energy or an organized kosmos of even more basic elements?

The nature of matter has been a central issue for philosophy from its very beginning. Over the course of centuries of debate, a wide variety of theoretical solutions have been proposed. Indeed, all major historical shifts of thought have prompted fundamental re-thinking of the nature of matter. For instance, the rise of the importance of mathematics in the natural sciences helped shape the transition from positing a “philosophy of nature” to concentrating on the empirical sciences. Debates about matter were intimately connected with the polemical rejections of Materialism and Dogmatism in the 18th and 19th Centuries. Most recently, contemporary physics has called for a fundamental re-orientation of the traditional paradigm.

The aim of this conference is to provide scholars from across the world an opportunity to discuss these and other important issues in an interdisciplinary environment. The organizers of the conference are open to a wide range of fields of research and historical eras. The organizers hope to bring together a program which spans from ancient to modern philosophy, and includes perspectives from drawn from the criticism of Kant, idealism, and materialism, as well as contemporary physics and biology.

The conference will be hosted by The Department of the Humanistic Sciences at the University of Palermo, and organized in cooperation with the International Center for Philosophical Research (Centro Internazionale per la Ricerca Filosofica: CRF) and Società Filosofica Italiana ("Santino Caramella" chapter). The conference will be held in Palermo, Sicily. Participants will also have the opportunity to explore neighboring, historic locales and other relevant sites in Siciliy.



Conference Proceedings will be published in EPEKEINA. International Journal of Ontology. History and Critics, Vol. 6, June 2015 (

Submission Deadlines: 



Panels and Papers proposals should be submitted via e-mail. They should include 1-2 page abstract as well as a brief biographical note and CV. Panels and papers may address one of the conference’s guiding lines, or prospective participants may propose other questions.

General Guiding Lines:

  1. 1. Prote hyle? The notion of Matter in the platonic and Aristotelian tradition: from late antiquity to Renaissance.
  2. 2. Spirit and Matter in the Modern Age: from Cartesian Tradition to German Idealism
  3. 3. Transformation of Matter in XX Century's Phenomenology and Hermeneutics
  4. 4. Mind, Matter and Energy in Contemporary Physics and Epistemology


For more information please contact the conference organizers or CRF directors:

Prof. Andrea Le Moli

Prof. Angelo Cicatello

ISSN: 2281-3209                DOI Prefix: 10.7408

Published online by CRF - Centro Internazionale per la Ricerca Filosofica - Palermo (Italy)

Registration Number at Palermo Courthouse n. 3402