Ever since its inaugural impulse in Brentano’s thinking, phenomenological philosophy has time and again been reborn of an essential confrontation with Aristotle and Aristotelianism. Whether explicitly or implicitly, the development of phenomenological philosophy through its key figures—Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Derrida, Patočka, and others—has sought to measure itself, its distance as well as proximity, in relation to the legacy of Aristotle’s thinking. This presence of Aristotle and Aristotelianism within phenomenological thought has taken different forms, with various thematic orientations (the body, time, language, metaphysics, etc.) and methods of engagement. Yet, an elemental form of this relationship is an incessant movement of departure and return, or searching. The history of phenomenological thought is as emphatically a departure from Aristotle (“metaphysics of presence,” “ontology of substance,” “logical prejudice,” etc.) as it is an emphatic return to the phenomenological yield of Aristotle’s thinking.
This conference is organized in the broader context of the celebration of the 2,400 years anniversary “Aristotle Today.” Under the auspices of the Center for Historical Ontology (Heidelberg – Helsinki – Leuven), 13 conferences on different aspects of Aristotle’s thinking and its reception were organized in 2016 (for a full list: www.c-h-o.eu) in major European universities (and in the USA).