Research Statement

I am interested in the nature of matter for Aristotle, both with respect to its role in coming to be and its role in being.  This interest has fueled my critiques of views that see the diversity of co-specific organisms in Aristotle as derived from the diversity of their matter or form.  I argue instead that organisms have their diversity non-derivatively, a thesis which I see as supported by Aristotle's metaontology as well as other key Aristotelian metaphysical theses.  I also draw connections between Aristotle's metaphysics, philosophy of science, and philosophy of biology and explore their relevance for debates in contemporary philosophy of biology.

Research Keywords

  • Philosophy of Biology
  • Metaphysics
  • Ancient Greek Philosophy


  • Title TBD, Aristotle’s Biology: Generation of Animals (The Philipps University of Marburg, Germany), August 2018 [Invited]. Invited Talk/Keynote, Accepted, 08/2018.
  • Aristotle on Animals: Matter, Change, and the Active Unity of Life, Philosophy Department Colloquium Research Presentation (Utah Valley University), October 2017 [Invited]. Invited Talk/Keynote, Accepted, 10/05/2017.
  • Aristotle's De Anima I, Reading Group on Aristotle's De Anima I, Anargyrios and Korgialenios School of Spetses, Greece, August 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/06/2017.
  • Individuality in Metaphysics vs. Philosophy of Biology, at the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Science of Biology 2017 meeting, Institute of Biosciences of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, July 2017. Presentation, Presented, 07/18/2017.
  • “Are Soul and Body Distinct? Hylomorphic Unity and the Activity of Life,” Person, Soul, and Consciousness: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives, 2017 Dominican Colloquium in Berkeley, July 2017. Presentation, Presented, 07/13/2017.
  • Conceptual Obscurity and Metaphysical Methodology, at the 2017 Midsummer Philosophy Workshop, University of Leeds, England, June 2017. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 06/20/2017.
  • Numerical Unity, Formal Unity, and Material Persistence in Aristotle, 2017 Mentoring Workshop for Pre-Tenure Women Faculty in Philosophy (University of Utah), June 2017. Conference Paper, Presented, 06/12/2017.
  • Explanatory Levels and the Biological Homology Concept: An Aristotelian Perspective, at Aristotle Resurgent: Exploring Neo-Aristotelian Approaches to Metaphysics, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science, University of Pittsburgh, May 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/23/2017.
  • Aristotle's De Generatione et Corruptione II, at the 2017 Workshop of the Center for the Aristotelian Tradition, University of Notre Dame, May 2017. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/13/2017.
  • Are Living Things Beings, Changes, or Both? Matter, Composition, and Biological Unity in Aristotle, University of Utah Tanner Humanities Center Work-In-Progress talk. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/21/2017.
  • Matter in Biology: An Aristotelian Metaphysics for Contemporary Homology, at Theology and the Philosophy of Science: Analytic, Scholastic, and Historical Perspectives (Concordia University of Edmonton). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/15/2016.
  • "An Anti-Reductive Biological Homology Concept," at Science, Philosophy, and Religious Commitment: Catholic Engagement in Philosophy of Science (University of St. Thomas). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/27/2016.
  • "What Happens to Aristotle's Origin of Change?" 16th Annual Meeting of the Ancient Philosophy Society (Portland, Maine). Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 04/30/2016.
  • "Organismal Generation Then and Now: The Persistence and Development of Aristotelian Matter," Worlds Apart? Aristotelian and Contemporary Engagement in Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Biology (University of Utah). Presentation, Presented, 04/14/2016.!blank/cm8a
  • "A Methodological Mess: Formulating the Universal/Particular Distinction," Junior Metaphysics Workshop (Texas Christian University). Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 03/19/2016.
  • “Reproduction, Form, and Organism in Aristotle’s Metaphysics and Biology,” presented at the International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology 2015 Conference, University of Quebec at Montreal, July 2015. Presentation, Presented, 07/09/2015.
  • “Aristotle’s Response to Parmenides: Matter as a Kind-Shifter,” presented at the 36th Annual Richard B. Baker Philosophy Colloquium: Teleology in Plato and Aristotle, University of Dayton, April 2015. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 02/10/2015.
  • “Aristotle’s Physics II.8: Coincidence, Empedocles, and Evolutionary Theory,” presented at the Intermountain Philosophy Conference, Utah State University . Presentation, Presented, 11/07/2014.
  • “The Primacy of the Organism: Diversification, Matter, and Teleology,” Philosophy Department research presentation, University of St. Thomas (St. Paul, Minnesota). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/2014.
  • “The Primacy of the Organism: Matter and Teleology,” Philosophy Department research presentation, Gonzaga University (Spokane, Washington). Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 02/2014.
  • “The Primacy of the Organism: Matter, Teleology, and Homology,” Philosophy Department research presentation, The University of Utah. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/2014.
  • “Aristotle’s Hylomorphism: Diversification and Generation,” Philosophy Department research presentation, King’s College Philosophy Department. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/2014.
  • "Diversifying Socrates and Callias: Constituent Ontology without Derivative Diversification," Wake Forest University Workshop on Hylemorphism, June 2-8, 2013. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2013.
  • "Diversification in Aristotle's Metaphysics: Critiquing the Traditional View," presented at the 13th Annual Meeting of the Ancient Philosophy Society, April 4-7, 2013, University of Notre Dame. Conference Paper, Refereed, Presented, 04/2013.
  • “Distinguishing Universals from Particulars: Historical Contexts, Contemporary Debates, and Methodology,” presented for the Notre Dame Workshop in the History of Philosophy, November 2011, University of Notre Dame. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/2011.
  • “Prime Matter, Elemental Transformation, and the Threat of Parmenides,” presented at Metaphysics: Ancient, Scholastic, Aristotelian, May-June 2010, Prague, The Czech Republic. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2010.
  • “Matter and Form, Number and Nows: An Analogy for Understanding Aristotle’s Account of Time,” presented at the Third International Conference on Philosophy sponsored by the Athens Institute for Education and Research, June 2008, Athens, Greece . Presentation, Presented, 06/2008.


  • Ancient Greek (to 1453), fluent.
  • French, functional.
  • Latin, functional.

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • Greece


  • Anne Siebels Peterson (2017). Review of Ömer Aygün’s The Middle Included: Logos in Aristotle. Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. Published, 09/24/2017.
  • "The Primacy of the Organism: Being, Unity, and Diversification in Aristotle's Metaphysics," The Review of Metaphysics 70:4 (June 2017), 645-661. Published, 06/2017.
  • Unity and Plurality in Hylomorphic Composition, Australasian Journal of Philosophy 2017 (ahead of print: Published, 05/16/2017.
  • “Ethics, Religion and Society in the Sophists,” Key Themes and Figures in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, ed. Brendan Sweetman [Gale, 2016]. Published, 12/2016.
  • “Elemental Transformation in Aristotle: Three Dilemmas for the Traditional Account,” in Metaphysics: Aristotelian, Scholastic, Analytic, ed. Novak, Novotny, Sousedik, and Svoboda (Ontos Verlag, 2013), 59-72. Published, 12/2012.
  • “Sameness in Biology,” with Grant Ramsey, Philosophy of Science 79:2 (April 2012), 255-275. Published, 04/2012.
  • “Matter and Form, Number and Nows: An Analogy for Understanding Aristotle’s Account of Time,” in An Anthology of Philosophical Studies, Athens Institute for Education and Research, ed. P. Hanna (Athens Institute for Education and Research, 2009), 37-48. Published, 06/2009.