The Aristotelian Alternative to Humean Bundles and Lockean Bare Particulars: Lowe and Loux on Material Substance

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Must we choose between reducing material substances to collections of properties, a’ la Berkeley and Hume or positing bare particulars, in the manner of Locke? Having repudiated the notion that a substance could simply be a collection of properties existing on their own, is there a viable alternative to the Lockean notion of a substratum, a being essentially devoid of character? E.J. Lowe and Michael Loux would answer here in the affirmative. Both recommend hylomorphism as an upgrade on the metaphysics of the British empiricists: treating a material substance as its essential 'form,' this embodied 'substance' universal being, in turn, the substratum in which its 'accidents' inhere. Here, I evaluate this Aristotelian metaphysics, identifying the advantages it enjoys over the empiricist's alternatives pertaining to dependence, unity, identity, change, and the distinction between essential and accidental properties. I also develop solutions to the two problems that Loux sees it posing.
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