Do Substances Have Formal Parts?

Analytic Philosophy (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Hylomorphism is the Aristotelian theory according to which substances are composed of matter and form. If a house is a substance, then its matter would be a collection of bricks and timbers and its form something like the structure of those bricks and timbers. It is widely agreed that matter bears a mereological relationship to substance; the bricks and timbers are parts of the house. But with form things are more controversial. Is the structure of the bricks and timbers best conceived as a part of the house, or is it related to the house in some non-mereological fashion? Kathrin Koslicki argues that substances have formal parts, that forms are best conceived as bearing a mereological relation to substances. This paper shows that her argument fails, given the traditional and plausible distinction between substances and accidental unities. I close with a brief suggestion for a non-mereological construal of forms.

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Author's Profile

Graham Renz
Marian University

Citations of this work

Forms Are Not Emergent Powers.Graham Renz - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.

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References found in this work

Things and Their Parts.Kit Fine - 1999 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 23 (1):61-74.
Hylomorphism.Mark Johnston - 2006 - Journal of Philosophy 103 (12):652-698.
Aristotle's hylomorphism without reconditioning.Anna Marmodoro - 2013 - Philosophical Inquiry 37 (1-2):5-22.

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