Small Portraits (10_2022)

by Rodrigo Ballon Villanueva

Taylor Pincin

For this month, our section goes all the way to the US to highlight the work of Taylor Pincin. Taylor is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Texas Austin, where she is working on her dissertation Being One and Being Prior in Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Her project has two main goals: first, to develop and defend a novel interpretation of Aristotle’s priority in being. Taylor argues that in order to understand priority in being, we need to appreciate, and further develop, the link that Aristotle and his predecessors saw between Being and Oneness. Once we do this, we can see that priority in being should be understood in terms of oneness: things are prior which are one independently of others, whereas things are posterior whose being one depends on other things being one. But, being one is not all there is to being, and priority in being is not Aristotle’s only important sense of priority: so, the second goal is to explore how priority in being intersects with priority in account. These two kinds of priority work together to fully explain what it is to be: to be is to be one, on the one hand, and to have an essence or account, on the other. Taylor has recently given two talks on topics from her dissertation: “The Interplay of Priority in Ousia and Priority in Logos” at Philosophizing with the Greats (Oxford, March 2022), and “The Relation(s) of Sameness and Difference in Metaphysics 7, 6” at the summer school on the Metaphysics of Relations in Lugano, June 2022.

Besides her doctoral research, Taylor is interested in contemporary political philosophy and philosophy of religion, both of which she teaches at UT Austin. She also has interests in ethics, especially in its intersection with varieties of ancient skepticism, such as Zhuangzi and Pyrrhonism, and hopes to teach a survey course on Ancient Greek and Ancient Chinese ethics. 

If you want to know more about Taylor’s research, check her website.