Natural Forms as Essentially Matter‐ and Change‐Involving

Michail Peramatzis

in Priority in Aristotle's Metaphysics

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199588350
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191728877 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Aristotle Studies Series

Natural Forms as Essentially Matter‐ and Change‐Involving

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Chapter 5 argues for the positive claim that natural form includes material and change‐related characteristics in its own essence. This thesis applies not only to particular or universal compounds but also to forms themselves. This chapter also investigates how this thesis of essential enmatterment is employed in Physics B.2. There, Aristotle seems to be arguing not simply that natural form is essentially enmattered but also that it is somehow prior to matter in essence and definition. Chapter 5 criticises at length a possible misunderstanding of this last priority claim, according to which, while natural form has both formal and material parts in its essence, its formal components are essentially and definitionally prior to its material parts. The diagnosis of this approach is that it is either incoherent or it does not properly adopt the thesis of the form's essential enmatterment.

Keywords: natural form; matter; material parts; change; essence; particular; universal; compound; essential enmatterment; prior in essence; prior in definition

Chapter.  28001 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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