Thriving in Context: The Octopus World


According to ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, the appropriateness of an animal’s environment—including not only the locale and resources, but also the existence of and company of others—is important for the animal’s survival and essential for the animal’s chance at thriving. In my presentation, I will consider the octopus world vis-a-vis Aristotle’s biological sources, exploring the octopus world qua environment, and proposing that the octopus’s environment is part of the octopus’s identity and thus plays an inestimable part in its quality of life.


Chelsea Harry is Professor of Philosophy at Southern Connecticut State University, USA and currently a visiting researcher at the University of Kassel. She works in the philosophy of nature with a particular interest in the relationship between theories of nature and concepts of time. Historically, she focuses on ancient Greek philosophy and late 18th-mid 19th century German philosophy. She is likewise interested in thinking about what kind of relationship we ought to have with the rest of nature now, in the 21st century.