Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 22, 2017

Hylomorphism and the Priority Principle

Jeremy W. Skrzypek
From the journal Metaphysica

Abstract

According to Jeffrey Brower’s hylomorphic account of material substances, prime matter and substantial forms together compose material substances, and material substances and accidental forms together compose accidental unities. In a recent article, Andrew Bailey has argued that Brower’s account has the counter-intuitive implication that no human person is ever the primary possessor, the primary thinker, of her own thoughts. In this paper, I consider various ways in which Brower might reply to this objection. I first consider several “invariant strategies”, solutions that do not require any significant alteration to Brower’s account. I argue that these strategies are unsuccessful. I then introduce two ways of modifying Brower’s hylomorphic account of material substances so as to avoid Bailey’s objection. I argue that these “variant strategies” are successful, but they require that Brower significantly alter one or more of the main features of his account.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank Susan Brower-Toland, Jeffrey Brower, Eleonore Stump, Robert Hartman, Allison Thornton, and audiences at the 2016 Philosophical Collaborations Conference at the Southern University of Illinois, Carbondale and the 2016 Meeting of the Central States Philosophy Conference at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, for helpful comments on earlier versions of this paper.

References

Aquinas, T. 1981. Summa Theologiae. Translated by Fathers of the English Dominican Province. Westminster: Christian Classics.Search in Google Scholar

Aquinas, T. 1983. Quodlibetal Questions. Translated by Sandra Edwards. Quodlibetal Questions 1 and 2. Toronto: PIMS.Search in Google Scholar

Aquinas, T. 1995. Commentary on Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Translated by John P. Rowan. Notre Dame: Dumb Ox Books.Search in Google Scholar

Aquinas, T. 2015. On the Union of the Word Incarnate. Translated by Roger W. Nutt. Leuven: Peeters.Search in Google Scholar

Bailey, A.M. 2014. “You Needn’t Be Simple.” Philosophical Papers 43 (2):145–160.10.1080/05568641.2014.932955Search in Google Scholar

Bailey, A.M. 2015. “The Priority Principle.” Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):163–174.10.1017/apa.2014.12Search in Google Scholar

Brower, J.E. 2010. “Aristotelian Endurantism: A New Solution to the Problem of Temporary Intrinsics.” Mind 119 (476):883–905.10.1093/mind/fzq072Search in Google Scholar

Brower, J.E. 2012. “Matter, Form, and Individuation.” In The Oxford Handbook of Aquinas, edited by E. Stump and B. Davies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195326093.013.0008Search in Google Scholar

Brower, J.E. 2014. Aquinas’s Ontology of the Material World: Change, Hylomorphism, and Material Objects. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714293.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Brown, C.M. 2005. Aquinas and the Ship of Theseus: Solving Puzzles about Material Objects. New York: Continuum.Search in Google Scholar

Burke, M.B. 1997. “Persons and Bodies: How to Avoid the New Dualism.” American Philosophical Quarterly 34 (4):457–467.Search in Google Scholar

Burke, M.B. 2004a. “Dion, Theon, and the Many-Thinkers Problem.” Analysis 64 (3):242–250.10.1093/analys/64.3.242Search in Google Scholar

Burke, M.B. 2004b. “Is My Head a Person?.” In On Human Persons, edited by K. Petrus. Frankfurt: Ontos Verlag.Search in Google Scholar

Chisholm, R. 1976. Person and Object: A Metaphysical Study. London: Open Court.Search in Google Scholar

Cohen, S.M. 2008. “Kooky Objects Revisited: Aristotle’s Ontology.” Metaphilosophy 39 (1):3–19.10.1111/j.1467-9973.2008.00521.xSearch in Google Scholar

Cohen, S.M. 2013. “Accidental Beings in Aristotle’s Ontology.” In Reason and Analysis in Ancient Greek Philosophy, edited by G. Anagnostopoulos and F.D. Miller, Jr. Dordrecht: Springer.10.1007/978-94-007-6004-2_13Search in Google Scholar

Cross, R. 1998. The Physics of Duns Scotus. Oxford: Clarendon.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269748.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Lewis, F. 1982. “Accidental Sameness in Aristotle.” Philosophical Studies 42 (1):1–36.10.1007/BF00372837Search in Google Scholar

Loux, M.J. 2006. “Aristotle’s Constituent Ontology.” In Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, edited by D.W. Zimmerman and K. Bennett, 2. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.4324/9780203968871Search in Google Scholar

Loux, M.J. 2014. “Aristotle’s Hylomorphism.” In Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives in Metaphysics, edited by L. Novak and D.D. Novotny. New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Lowe, E.J. 1998. “Form without Matter.” Ratio 11 (3):214–234.10.1111/1467-9329.00068Search in Google Scholar

Matthews, G. 1982. “Accidental Unities.” In Language and Logos: Studies in Ancient Greek Philosophy, edited by M. Schofield and M.C. Nussbaum. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511550874.013Search in Google Scholar

Oderberg, D.S. 2007. Real Essentialism. New York: Routledge.10.4324/9780203356753Search in Google Scholar

Oderberg, D.S. 2011. “Essence and Properties.” Erkenntnis 75 (1):85–111.10.1007/s10670-011-9276-0Search in Google Scholar

Pasnau, R. 2002. Thomas Aquinas on Human Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CBO9780511613180Search in Google Scholar

Pasnau, R. 2010. “Form and Matter.” In The Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy, edited by R. Pasnau. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.10.1017/CHOL9780521762168Search in Google Scholar

Pasnau, R. 2011. Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567911.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Pasnau, R. 2012. “Mind and Hylomorphism.” In The Oxford Handbook of Medieval Philosophy, edited by J. Marenbon. Oxford: Oxford University Press.10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195379488.013.0022Search in Google Scholar

Rea, M.C. 2014. Metaphysics: The Basics. New York: Routledge.10.4324/9781315798271Search in Google Scholar

Sider, T. 2001. “Maximality and Intrinsic Properties.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 63 (2):357–364.10.1111/j.1933-1592.2001.tb00109.xSearch in Google Scholar

Sider, T. 2003. “Maximality and Microphysical Supervenience.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (1):139–149.10.1111/j.1933-1592.2003.tb00247.xSearch in Google Scholar

Stump, E. 2003. Aquinas. New York: Routledge.Search in Google Scholar

Stump, E., and N. Kretzmann 1988. “Being and Goodness.” In Divine and Human Action: Essays in the Metaphysics of Theism, edited by T.V. Morris. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Search in Google Scholar

Sutton, C.S. 2014. “Against the Maximality Principle.” Metaphysica 15 (2):381–389.10.1515/mp-2014-0023Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2017-4-22
Published in Print: 2017-9-26

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow