Hylomorphism versus the Theory of Elements in Late Aristotelianism: Péter Pázmány and the Sixteenth-Century Exegesis of Meteorologica IV

Vivarium 52 (1-2):147-172 (2014)
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This paper investigates Péter Pázmány’s theory of mixtures from his exegesis of Meteorologica IV, in the context of sixteenth-century scholarship on Aristotle’s Meteorologica. It aims to contribute to a discussion of Anneliese Maier’s thesis concerning the incompatibility between hylomorphism and the theory of elements in the Aristotelian tradition. It presents two problems: the placement of Meteorologica IV in the Jesuit cursus on physics and the conceptualization of putrefaction as a type of substantial mutation. Through an analysis of these issues, it shows how sixteenth-century exegesis imposes the hylomorphic thesis onto the subject matter of meteorology and how the hylomorphic theory of substantial change can be adapted in order to accommodate the theory of elements. The case being made is that Meteorologica is a privileged place where hylomorphism and the theory of elements meet and that the late Aristotelian theory of mixtures sought to accommodate both theories of material substance.
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