Aristotle on Substance [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 45 (3):611-613 (1992)

Thomas Upton
Gannon University
A good work in philosophy should, it seems, have two essential characteristics: broad philosophical vision and careful, convincing argumentation. This book has both. Guiding the work is Gill's refreshingly original vision of Aristotle's cosmos. Instead of the austere traditional view of this cosmos in which God as pure form and actuality is at the top, and prime matter as pure matter and potentiality is at the bottom, with composite bodies in between the two, Gill proposes another view. In Aristotle's cosmos God as pure form and actuality is indeed at the top, but at the bottom is not matter as indeterminate potentiality, but as a set of simple elements. These elements have definite natures, but are not composites of matter and form. Because these elements have definite natures, they are not just static building blocks of the composite substances into which they are formed. Rather, material, composite substances, held together by form, tend to be subverted by the very matter of which they are composed. Thus, on Gill's view, "The Aristotelian cosmos is a world of tension and commotion-ordered and preserved by form, disordered by matter".
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph199245313
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 61,089
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Aristotle on Substance and Unity.Hye-Kyung Kim - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 10:79-91.
Substance and Predication in Aristotle.Frank A. LEWIS - 1991 - Cambridge University Press.
Unity and Primary Substance for Aristotle.Catherine Jack Deavel - 2003 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 77:159-172.
Substance and Independence in Aristotle.Phil Corkum - 2013 - In B. Schnieder, A. Steinberg & M. Hoeltje (eds.), Varieties of Dependence: Ontological Dependence, Supervenience, and Response-Dependence. Basic Philosophical Concepts Series, Philosophia Verlag. pp. 36-67.
Substances.S. Marc Cohen - 2009 - In Georgios Anagnostopoulos (ed.), A Companion to Aristotle. Blackwell-Wiley.
The Holistic Presuppositions of Aristotle's Cosmology.Mohan Matthen - 2001 - Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 20:171-199.
Multiplicity and Unity of Being in Aristotle.Enrico Berti - 2001 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 101 (2):185–207.


Added to PP index

Total views
27 ( #397,277 of 2,439,697 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #432,499 of 2,439,697 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes