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By Jeffrey E. Brower

What's the nature of the fabric global? and the way are its primary ingredients to be defined? those questions are of primary situation to modern philosophers, and of their try and resolution them, they've got started reconsidering conventional perspectives approximately metaphysical constitution, together with the Aristotelian view that fabric gadgets are top defined as 'hylomorphic compounds'--that is, gadgets composed of either subject (hyle) and shape (morphe).
In this significant new learn, Jeffrey E. Brower offers and explains the hylomorphic notion of the cloth global constructed by way of Thomas Aquinas, the main influential Aristotelian of the center a long time. in keeping with Brower, the main to realizing Aquinas's notion lies in his unique account of intrinsic switch. starting with a singular research of this account, Brower systematically introduces the entire parts of Aquinas's hylomorphism, displaying how they follow to fabric gadgets usually and people particularly. The ensuing photo not just sheds new mild on Aquinas's ontology as an entire, yet offers a wholesale replacement to the traditional modern debts of fabric objects.

In addition to proposing and explaining Aquinas's perspectives, Brower seeks anywhere attainable to deliver them into discussion with the simplest fresh literature on similar issues. alongside the best way, he highlights the contribution that Aquinas's perspectives make to a number of latest metaphysical debates, together with the character of switch, composition, fabric structure, the ontology of stuff vs. issues, the right kind research of standard items, the truthmakers for crucial vs. unintentional predication, and the metaphysics of estate ownership.

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Extra resources for Aquinas's Ontology of the Material World: Change, Hylomorphism, and Material Objects

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885–7. For a more complete list of references, including other ways in which Aquinas refers to accidental unities, see Brown 2005, 64, n. 27. 23 It might be thought that Aquinas’s accidental unities must be taken to include an infinite number of objects—namely, one for every way in which a substance can be truly characterized. In fact, however, this is not the case. Aquinas accepts a sparse (as opposed to an abundant) conception of forms or properties, and hence introduces a distinct form or property only for some of the ways in which a substance can be characterized.

37 A second respect in which my description of Aquinas’s ontology might appear to be incomplete has to do with Aquinas’s views about essence and existence. According to Aquinas, God is a necessary being or one whose nature or essence guarantees that he exists. Indeed, insofar as he takes God to be an absolutely simple being, he denies that there is any distinction in him between essence and existence. In the case of creatures, by contrast, just the opposite is true; in their case, he insists that a distinction must be drawn between essence and existence precisely because, unlike God, they are not necessary but rather contingent beings.

For discussion of successive entities, see Pasnau 2011, ch. 18. AQUINAS ’ S ONTOLOGY OF THE MATERIAL WORLD 19 of its distinguishing features or characteristics. We have encountered some of these already. Thus, we have seen that prime matter is the ultimate substratum for compounds in the corporeal world (namely, material substances and material unities). Again, we have seen that prime matter is closely connected with spatial extension. The possession of prime matter serves as the mark of materiality in the ordinary or familiar sense of the term.

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