Staunch vs. Faint-hearted Hylomorphism: Toward an Aristotelian Account of Composition

Res Philosophica 91 (2):151-177 (2014)
Abstract
A staunch hylomorphism involves a commitment to a sparse theory of universals and a sparse theory of composite material objects, as well as to an ontology of fundamental causal powers. Faint-hearted hylomorphism, in contrast, lacks one or more of these elements. On the staunch version of HM, a substantial form is not merely some structural property of a set of elements—it is rather a power conferred on those elements by that structure, a power that is the cause of the generation and persistence of a composite whole through time. Bernard Williams discussed a faint-hearted version of HM in 1986, and faint-hearted HM has been defended more recently by Mark Johnston and Kathrin Koslicki . I defend the superiority of the staunch version, in spite of its heavier ontological commitments, as a way of accounting for a real distinction between living organisms and heaps of matter, without recourse to dualism or vitalism, and as a way of combining a powers ontology with the possibility of gunk
Keywords hylomorphism  Aristotle  causal powers
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DOI 10.11612/resphil.2014.91.2.1
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References found in this work BETA
Material Beings.Peter van Inwagen - 1990 - Cornell University Press.
The Nature of Necessity.Alvin Plantinga - 1974 - Clarendon Press.
Objects and Persons.Trenton Merricks - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Naming and Necessity.Saul Kripke - 2010 - In Darragh Byrne & Max Kölbel (eds.), Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 431-433.
The Structure of Objects.Kathrin Koslicki - 2008 - Oxford University Press.

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