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Graham Renz
Marian University
  1. Forms Are Not Emergent Powers.Graham Renz - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Hylomorphism is the Aristotelian theory according to which substances are composites of matter and form. If my house is a substance, then its matter would be a collection of bricks and timbers and its form something like a structure that unites those bricks and timbers into a single substance. Contemporary hylomorphists are divided on how to understand forms best, but a prominent group of theorists argue that forms are emergent powers. According to such views, when material components are arranged appropriately, (...)
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  2. Do Substances Have Formal Parts?Graham Renz - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
    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 (...)
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  3. Why there is no obligation to love God.William Bell & Graham Renz - forthcoming - Religious Studies.
    The first and greatest commandment according to Jesus, and so the one most central to Christian practice, is the command to love God. We argue that this commandment is best interpreted in aretaic rather than deontic terms. In brief, we argue that there is no obligation to love God. While bad, failure to seek and enjoy a union of love with God is not in violation of any general moral requirement. The core argument is straightforward: relations of intimacy should not (...)
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  4. Form as Structure: It's not so Simple.Graham Renz - 2016 - Ratio 31 (1):20-36.
    Hylomorphism is the theory that objects are composites of form and matter. Recently it has been argued that form is structure, or the arrangement of an object's parts. This paper shows that the principle of form cannot be ontologically exhausted by structure. That is, I deny form should be understood just as the arrangement of an object's parts. I do so by showing that structure cannot play the role form is supposed to in a certain domain of objects, specifically, in (...)
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  5. Whence the Form?Graham Renz - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy.
    Hylomorphists claim that substances—human beings, oak trees, chemical compounds—are compounds of matter and form. If a house is a substance, then its matter would be some bricks and timbers and its form the structure those bricks and timbers take on. While hylomorphism is traditionally presented as a theory of change, it only treats the coming-to-be and passing-away of matter-form compounds. But many hylomorphists understand forms to be entities in their own right, as parts or constituents of substances. So, a neglected (...)
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  6. The Five-Category Ontology? E.J. Lowe and the Ontology of the Divine.Graham Renz - forthcoming - TheoLogica: An International Journal for Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology.
    E.J.Lowe was a prominent and theistically–inclined philosopher who developed and defended a four–category ontology with roots in Aristotle’s Categories. But Lowe engaged in little philosophical theology and said even less about how a divine being might fit into his considered ontology. This paper explores ways in which the reality of a divine being might be squared with Lowe’s ontology. I motivate the exploration with a puzzle that suggests Lowe must reject either divine aseity or the traditional view that God is (...)
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  7. Hylomorphism and Complex Properties.Graham Renz - 2020 - Metaphysica 21 (2):179-197.
    Hylomorphism is the Aristotelian theory according to which objects are composites of form and matter. Form is what unifies the various parts of an object – the matter – into a cohesive whole. Some contemporary hylomorphists argue their theory applies beyond the realm of concreta, and that it explains the unity of various abstract entities. Not everyone agrees. Recent criticism alleges that hylomorphism fails to explain the unity of certain abstract entities, namely, complex properties – properties with other properties as (...)
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  8. It’s All in your Head: a Solution to the Problem of Object Coincidence.Graham Renz - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1387-1407.
    It is uncontroversial that artifacts like statues and tables are mind-dependent. What is controversial is whether and how this mind-dependence has implications for the ontology of artifacts. I argue the mind-dependence of artifacts entails that there are no artifacts or artifact joints in the extra-mental world. In support of this claim, I argue that artifacts and artifact joints lack any extra-mental grounding, and so ought not to have a spot in a realist ontology. I conclude that the most plausible story (...)
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  9. What is God's Power?Graham Renz - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 13 (3).
    Theists claim that God can make a causal difference in the world. That is, theists believe that God is causally efficacious, has power. Discussion of divine power has centered on understanding better the metaphysics of creation and sustenance, special intervention, governance, and providing an account of omnipotence consistent with other divine attributes, such as omnibenevolence. But little discussion has centered on what, deep down ontologically, God’s power is. I show that a number of prominent accounts of power fail to model (...)
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  10. Assessing Recent Agent-Based Accounts of Right Action.Graham Renz - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):433-444.
    Agent-based virtue ethical theories must deal with the problem of right action: if an action is right just in case it expresses a virtuous motive, then how can an agent perform the right action but for the wrong reason, or from a vicious motive? Some recent agent-based accounts purport to answer this challenge and two other related problems. Here I assess these accounts and show them to be inadequate answers to the problem of right action. Overall, it is shown that (...)
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