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Aristotle Colloquium 2016, 21 November, University of Pretoria

“In celebrating Aristotle, we are celebrating our own spirit of inquiry - that most uniquely and quintessentially human trait - the desire to know."

These are the words of Wehan Coombs, a recent Masters graduate (cum laude) at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Pretoria.

Coombs’s words come at a very opportune time; the esteemed philosopher would be turning 2400 this year, and to celebrate, the Department, along with the Meraka Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (CSIR), will be hosting a Colloquium focused on Aristotle.

The colloquium will take place on 21 November 2016, and will feature keynote addresses from philosophers Larry Bloom from the University of Cape Town, and Pedro Tabensky from Rhodes University. Bloom will be giving an address titled Aristotle on Substance as Actuality, and Tabensky’s talk is titled My Life With Aristotle.

Coombs, whose Masters research was on Aristotle, will also be presenting. He considers the philosopher a pivotal figure in Western philosophy: "In the history of thought in the West, Aristotle's vast impact is rivalled only by that of his teacher, Plato. In the work of Aristotle we are met with the products of a sincere and insatiable curiosity; from logic to biology, from physics to philosophy, and from poetry to politics. Aristotle must be viewed as a paradigm: if we are to be sincere in our quest for knowledge, then we must seek excellence in the pursuit of interdisciplinarity, education, and understanding, or in short, excellence in practical wisdom.”

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