Prime Matter Without Extension

Journal of the History of Philosophy 54 (4):523-546 (2016)

Mary Katrina Krizan
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse
according to a certain interpretative tradition, Aristotle is committed to prime matter—an indefinite, indeterminate, and unknowable material substratum that exists as pure potentiality and underlies, among other features, the elements and their mutual transformations.1 This interpretative tradition has come under attack from various sources; among such sources are those who wish to deny Aristotle’s commitment to a material substratum that is ontologically more basic than the elements, and who instead affirm the conclusion that Aristotle’s account of nature and change does not require prime matter.2A different objection to the interpretative tradition is voiced by those who wish to maintain Aristotle’s commitment...
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2016.0069
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