Book

The Architecture of Matter

Thomas Holden

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780199263264
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191601743 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199263264.001.0001

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies Series

The Architecture of Matter

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Examines the debate in early modern philosophy over the composition and internal architecture of matter, focussing on problems concerning the structure of continua, the metaphysics of parts and wholes, and the individuation of material beings. Are the parts of material bodies actual or potential entities? Is matter divisible to infinity? Do material bodies resolve to atoms? All the leading figures of the period address this cluster of issues, including Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Newton, Hume, Boscovich, Reid, and Kant. Presents a historical and critical study of these discussions, and offers an overarching interpretation of the controversy. Locates the central problem in the tension between the early moderns’ actual parts ontology on the one hand, and the programme of the geometrization of nature on the other.

Keywords: atoms; composition; continua; divisibility; early modern; individuation; matter; ontology; parts; wholes

Book.  318 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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Table of Contents

Actual Parts and Potential Parts in The Architecture of Matter

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The Case for Infinite Divisibility in The Architecture of Matter

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Conclusion in The Architecture of Matter

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