Basic info for my department’s second annual philosophy conference is online. The topic is “The Ontology of Ordinary Objects.”
Here’s the idea behind the topic. There’s long been a dispute – going back to Aristotle versus his Presocratic and Platonic predecessors – as to whether ordinary objects such as tables and terriers are full realities in their own right or are instead mere constructs out of something more basic and less familiar: atomic triangles, sense-data, property clusters, four-dimensional time-slices, etc.
Most members of the Auburn department are firmly on the side of the ordinary objects – even if this image, the official icon of the conference, might suggest otherwise.
In related news (related to the topic of the conference, albeit not especially to the conference itself), check out Rupert Read’s Wittgensteinian critique of four-dimensional time-slices. (In order to understand his opening analogy, non-Brits may need to examine this photograph.)