Form and matter

  title={Form and matter},
  author={Robert Pasnau},
  • R. Pasnau
  • Published 17 December 2009
  • Philosophy
The first unquestionably big idea in the history of philosophy was the idea of form. The idea of course belonged to Plato, and was then domesticated at the hands of Aristotle, who paired form with matter as the two chief principles of his metaphysics and natural philosophy. In the medieval period, it was Aristotle’s conception of form and matter that generally dominated. This was true for both the Islamic and the Christian tradition, once the entire Aristotelian corpus became available. For… 

Physicalism and the sortalist conception of objects

It is argued that extant solutions to “the grounding problem”—the problem of showing how (nonfundamental) sortal properties are determined by (nonsortal) physical properties—are either physicalistically unacceptable, or else physicalistically acceptable but opposed to the sortalist metaphysic.

Margaret Cavendish and Vegetable Life

  • J. Begley
  • Philosophy
    International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées
  • 2021
This paper traces how the seventeenth-century poet, playwright, and natural philosopher, Margaret Cavendish, developed her ideas on plant life in three major publications: her 1655 Philosophical and

Defending constituent ontology

Constituent ontologies maintain that the properties of an object are either parts or something very much like parts of that object. Recently, such a view has been criticized as (i) leading to a

Dreams, Visions, and the Rhetoric of Authority

.................................................................................................................................. v

Metaobjects as a programming tool

On Hylemorphism and Personal Identity

Abstract: There is no such thing as ‘the’ hylemorphic account of personal identity. There are several views that count as hylemorphic, and these views can be grouped into two main families—the



Neoplatonic logic and Aristotelian logic-I

IT is well known that Ennead VI contains an onslaught by Plotinus on Aristotle's Categories, but that his pupil, Porphyry, established both the Categories and Predicables as part of the Neoplatonic

Goodness as transcendental: The early thirteenth-century recovery of an Aristotelian idea

In this paper I investigate the philosophical developments at the heart of what appears to be the earliest systematic formulation of the doctrine of the transcendentals by comparing the first

Building The Library Of Arabic Philosophy. Platonism And Aristotelianism In The Sources Of Al-Kind?

It is true that since early Hellenism, philosophy itself competed with the individual sciences for recognition of a professional status in society, and sought to found its claim on the unconditioned

Olivi on the Metaphysics of the Soul

The centerpiece of Aristotle's De anima is his account of the soul-body relationship in terms of form: the soul is "the form of a natural body that potentially has life" (I1 1,412a20-21). Recent

Bonaventure and the Question of a Medieval Philosophy

Can one speak coherently of Bonaventure's philosophy? Or is such an idea nothing more than a modern hermeneutical fancy? The arguments against the view that Bonaventure has a philosophy are of

A History of Twelfth-Century Western Philosophy: The Platonic inheritance

For a characterization of twelfth-century Platonism – apart from the constant presence of Platonic influences mediated by the Greek and Latin Fathers, especially Augustine, which can be considered a

Of Angels and Pinheads: The Contributions of the Early Oxford Masters to the Doctrine of Spiritual Matter

Surely one of the strangest doctrines to emerge from the intense theological debates of the thirteenth century was the concept of spiritual matter} Traceable to the Fons vitae of Ibn Gabirol,

Positioning Heaven: The Infidelity of a Faithful Aristotelian

Aristotle's account of place in terms of an innermost limit of a containing body was to generate serious discussion and controversy among Aristotle's later commentators, especially when it was

Reading the World Rightly and Squarely: Bonaventure's Doctrine of the Cardinal Virtues

In an article concerning the seven deadly sins, Siegfried Wenzel distinguishes one model for the traditional topic of vices and virtues which he calls ‘ cosmological’ or ‘ symbolic.’ This model

Henry of Ghent and the Twilight of Divine Illumination

The arrival in medieval western Europe of Aristotle's most profound works, including the Physics, the Metaphysics, and the De anima, brought on revolutionary changes in thirteenth-century thought,