Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Mark Sentesy

You are here:
Mark Sentesy

Mark Sentesy

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies
247 Sparks Building University Park , PA 16802
(814) 865-1674


PhD, MA, Boston College.
Ancient Greek, University of Chicago
MA studies, KU Leuven
B.Hum, Carleton University

Professional Bio

Areas of Specialization

  • Ancient Philosophy (esp. Plato and Aristotle)

Areas of Competence

  • Environmental Philosophy
  • Philosophical Anthropology
  • 19th and Early 20th Century European Philosophy

Research Interests

Mark Sentesy works on big picture issues in the philosophy of nature: What is nature? What is the structure of its dynamic systems? How do human beings relate to, think about, and impact nature? How do our technological systems affect this relationship? This includes topics ranging from physics and metaphysics, to epistemology, to the ethics of environmental, economic, and technological systems, philosophical anthropology, and the philosophy of education.

His book Aristotle's Ontology of Change is forthcoming in 2020. His next monograph project is entitled The Moved Soul, on Aristotle's account of how things in the world move the soul to feel, remember, and understand.

Articles in progress: Gilgamesh and the ecology of the Anthropocene, Protagoras' political ontology and the problem of how community is possible between people with different concepts of community, a critique of Heidegger's account of potency, and the concept of ontological diversity in ancient Greek thought.

Recent Courses

  • Aristotle’s Ontology of Time and Movement (PHIL 553)
    • A seminar devoted to the ontology of time and movement, and the implications of time and movement for ontology
  • The Ethics of Climate Change (PHIL/METEO/RL ST 133N)
  • Environmental Ethics (PHIL 403)
    • Explores the ethical meaning of the Anthropocene
  • Technology and Human Values (PHIL 407)
    • Examines the effects of technology on ethics, epistemology and metaphysics
  • Introduction to Ancient Philosophy (PHIL 200) -
    • Studies the origins of philosophy, specifically Ancient Greek inquiries into desire and thought, knowledge and being, truth and action, nature and the good.
  • Philosophy: The Big Questions (PHIL 001)
    • Explores some of the ways the big questions were asked most clearly, and why the answers are challenging to find and to live by.


Aristotle’s Ontology of Change, Chicago: Northwestern University Press (2020).

Aristotle's Ontology of Change

On Language: Analytic, Continental, and Historical Contributions, Ed., with Jon Burmeister, UK: Cambridge Scholars (2007).

On Language: Analytic, Continental, and Historical Contributions

Selected Articles

“Community with Nothing in Common? Plato’s Subtler Response to Protagoras” Epochē, forthcoming, 2020.

“Genesis and The Priority of Energeia in Aristotle’s Metaphysics IX.8” Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium in Ancient Philosophy 34:1 (2019). 43-70.

“The Now and the Relation between Motion and Time in Aristotle: A Systematic Reconstruction” Apeiron, 51:3 (2018). 1-45.

“Are Potency and Actuality Compatible in Aristotle?” Epoche, 22:2 (2018). 239-270.

“Aristotle on the Being of Time: Outline of a New Interpretation” in Demetra Sfendoni-Mentzou, ed. Proceedings Of The World Congress “Aristotle 2400 Years.” Thessaloniki: Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (2018).

“The Hermeneutic Problem of Potency and Activity in Aristotle” in The Challenge: Aristotle. Gicheva-Gocheva, Dimka, Ivan Kolev and Haralambi Panicidis (eds.) Sofia: Sofia University Press (2017) 593-614.

“On the Many Senses of Potency According to Aristotle” in Sources of Desire: Essays on Aristotle’s Theoretical Works, ed. James Oldfield, UK: Cambridge Scholars (2012) 63-93.

“How Technology Changes Our Idea of the Good” in Eth-ICTs: Ethics and the New Information and Communication Technologies, eds. Paul Laverdure and Melchior Mbonimpa. Sudbury: University of Sudbury (2011) 109-123.

“Husserl on Signs,” in Proceedings of the Kent State University May 4th Philosophy Graduate Student Conference 5 (2006).

Mark Sentesy