Welcome to potestas essendi. If you wanted to know more about philosophical intricacies concerning nature and its fading hylomorphic roots as they were envisioned by medieval thinkers and practitioners, this is the right website. You will find here contents of different nature and scope, following the development of my research interests over time. Most of it is related to the tension between metaphysics and physics in the Middle Ages. This is a reflection of my research on how a structural tension between the metaphysical notion of prime matter and the physical concept of matter as materiality marked the evolution of philosophy (and indirectly science) throughout the Middle Ages and the beginning of Early Modernity.
First, let me introduce myself.
Senior Research Fellow
at KU Leuven (BE)
I’m Nicola Polloni, the editor of potestas essendi. Hence, you will find a lot of information about me in this website. I work on medieval philosophy and science, more specifically on the ontological constitution (why a thing is what it is) of the natural world (all sort of bodies, from squirrels to rocks, and their constituents). Even more specifically, I work on hylomorphism, a theory claiming that all bodies are made of matter and form and which was the main framework of premodern natural philosophy and science. You will find much more about this in the website.
I come originally from Siena, on the Tuscan hills. Yet I had to travel a lot. I have studied in Pavia (IT) and Barcelona (ES). Then, I have moved to Durham (UK), Berlin (DE), and now I am working at KU Leuven, in Belgium. And I am sure that, like it or not, the journey is not going to stop anytime soon.
While I work on medieval philosophy, I am delighted to say that my interests are not limited to this branch of philosophy – or to philosophy as such. They extend from communication science (how communication happens) to Chinese culture (I am currently learning this beautiful language). I am also involved in collaborations with artists and scientists (the Extensions Project). And more broadly, I am a vocal advocate for an equitable, inclusive, global society that has to be nurtured by all of us actively and relentlessly.