Anne Siebels Peterson
University of Utah
How should we understand the relationship, for Aristotle, between matter, form, and hylomorphic composite? Are matter and form distinct from each other, so that each hylomorphic unity harbours a plurality within it, or would such a plurality undermine the unity of the composite? A recent strand of argument in both Aristotelian and contemporary literature on hylomorphism has concluded that no genuine unity can be composed of a plurality. I will argue that the objection motivating this conclusion falls away as improperly formulated in light of Aristotle's metaontology—in particular, his thesis that unity is indeterminate. The genuine objection threatening hylomorphic unity is one that Aristotle himself formulates as a central concern in his Metaphysics: no substance can be composed of substances. He answers this genuine objection in his appeal to the actuality/potentiality distinction, and in Metaphysics VIII.6 he reminds us why no more basic problem of hylomorphic unity arises. Against the backdrop of Aristotle's metaontology, hylomorphic unity cannot be undermined by the plurality, just as such, of matter and form.
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Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1080/00048402.2017.1324501
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References found in this work BETA

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Cosmic Hylomorphism: A Powerist Ontology of Quantum Mechanics.William M. R. Simpson - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-25.

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