Postponement of the Canadian Aristotle Society conference in Ottawa | Dominican University College


Tuesday, May 26, 2020 - 14:00
Dominican University College, 96 Empress Avenue, Ottawa (ON)


Postponement of the Canadian Aristotle Society conference in Ottawa

Dear members and friends of the Canadian Aristotle Society,

It is with regret that I must inform you that we have decided to postpone this year's Canadian Aristotle Conference on Aristotle and the Early Greek Philosophers due to the impact of Covid 19.  Because of the current public health guidelines and in light of the fact that many of the Dominican Friars who inhabit the College building belong to a high risk demographic on account of their age, the conference will be postponed until either the spring or the fall of 2021. We also think it is safer for participants overall if we do not gather in large groups for the duration of this pandemic. The theme will remain the same and Dr. John Thorp has graciously accepted to give the keynote address.   

If you are still interested in submitting an abstract (150 words) for this conference, please do so before February 1, 2021.  If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at the following address:

I take this moment to wish you and your loved ones well.  

Onwards looking,

Mark Nyvlt, Conference organizer and Full Professor, Faculty of Philosophy at Dominican University College

The Society

The purpose of the bilingual Canadian Aristotle Society is to establish a Centre wherein the themes of Aristotle, along with the Aristotelian tradition, are kept alive by way of either conferences or eventually publications. The spirit of this Society will be speculative and classical in nature, though this does not exclude the analytical and continental traditions.

Dr. John Thorp's Abstract

Aristotle and Natural Law

One of the most difficult chapters in Aristotle is Nicomachean Ethics V, 7, on Natural Justice, or, as we might rather say, Natural Law. The kernel of the difficulty is that Aristotle argues in favour of the existence of Natural Law, but understands it as changeable. The idea that Natural Law is changeable seems, of course, a straightforward contradiction in terms: it notably reduced the great Dominican commentators Gauthier & Jolif to astonished silence. This paper argues that the chapter is, after all, intelligible; it has generally been misread by commentators, and that misreading stems from a failure to bear in mind certain features of earlier Greek thought.

John Thorp
University of Western Ontario