Chapter

Matter and Form

E. J. Lowe

in The Possibility of Metaphysics

Published in print June 2001 | ISBN: 9780199244997
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597930 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199244995.003.0009
 Matter and Form

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Here, attention is drawn to the Aristotelian distinction between matter and form, a version of which is defended in providing an account of the nature of composite substances. It is argued that a composite substance cannot be identified with the mereological sum of its component parts, nor with a bundle of compresent ‘tropes’ or property instances. A ‘four‐category ontology’, inspired by Aristotle, is defended, according to which four fundamental and mutually irreducible categories of entity need to be acknowledged: substantial particulars, non‐substantial particulars (or ‘modes’), substantial universals, and non‐substantial universals.

Keywords: Aristotle; composition; form; matter; mereology; modes; particulars; substance; tropes; universals

Chapter.  9535 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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