Potestas Essendi

Welcome to Potestas Essendi. If you want to know more about philosophical intricacies concerning nature and its fading hylomorphic roots as they were envisioned by medieval thinkers, I guess this is the right place. You can find here materials of different nature and scope, following the development of my research interests over time. Much of it is related to the tension between ontology and natural philosophy in the Middle Ages and, specifically, the concepts of matter, prime matter, and materiality.

However, Potestas Essendi offers more than just specialised stuff for people with strange interests. One of the main questions I have been asking myself during the past few years is how medieval philosophy can be “communicated” in the sense of “shared” and made “common” as per the original sense of the Latin verb“communicare”. For this reason, Potestas Essendi also hosts some projects directed to a wider audience of people who might be interested in knowing more about medieval stuff.

About Nicola Polloni

I’m Nicola Polloni, the editor of Potestas Essendi: you will find here much information about my work and research so a short introduction is necessary. I grew up in Tuscany, surrounded by medieval buildings and centuries-long traditions. Although I travelled much during my career, I still believe that my Tuscan roots have brought about much of my passion for how history shapes our lives. My philosophical training refined this vision of a world that is fashioned by complexity and needs to be carefully analysed in all its constitutive aspects to finally appreciate its constitutive patterns of simplicity.

In academia, my work is centred on medieval philosophy, more specifically on the ontological constitution of the natural world – why a thing is what it is according to the way it is naturally made. Before the European scientific revolution, the answer to this question was given by a theory called “hylomorphism”, which claimed that all bodies are made of matter and form. I am particularly passionate about the philosophical puzzles arising from the notions of matter and prime matter.

Browsing around

Here is a short outline of what Potestas Essendi has to offer to any fellow web-wanderer with interests in philosophy and its long history.

Scattered highlights

Together for an idea

A better academia is nurtured by constant effort. Let’s level the playing field together leaving no room for intolerance, exclusion, racism, and elitism. It is our responsibility – to our students, ourselves, and our society.