Filosoficky Casopis 60 (4):585-600 (2012)

Authors
Tomas Hribek
Czech Academy of Sciences
Abstract
[Materialism and Hylomorphism] The author disputes the view, expressed recently by Tomáš Machula a David Peroutka, that materialism, dominant in contemporary philosophy of mind, should be substituted by Thomist hylomorphism. The critique focuses on two aspects of Machula and Peroutka’s argument. Firstly, on their assumption that the contemporary preference for materialism is the result of chance (ignorance of the fact that in addition to materialism and dualism the position of hylomorphism is also available). This assumption fails to take into account the fact that dualism was already the subject of criticism in the 17th century, but materialism only became properly established in the mid-twentieth century. Secondly, the author argues that Thomist hylomorphism can be updated in a more fruitful way than that proposed by Machula and Peroutka. This updating requires us, however, to sacrifice certain metaphysically unsustainable ideas – in particular the idea that the soul is a non-material substance independent of the body.
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