Hylomorphism and Complex Properties

Metaphysica 21 (2):179-197 (2020)
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Abstract

Hylomorphism is the Aristotelian theory according to which objects are composites of form and matter. Form is what unifies the various parts of an object – the matter – into a cohesive whole. Some contemporary hylomorphists argue their theory applies beyond the realm of concreta, and that it explains the unity of various abstract entities. Not everyone agrees. Recent criticism alleges that hylomorphism fails to explain the unity of certain abstract entities, namely, complex properties – properties with other properties as proper parts. Here, I both respond to this criticism and show that and how hylomorphism extends to the domain of complex properties. By discussing hylomorphism’s applicability to the hitherto unchartered domain of complex properties, I hope to defend its credentials as a general mereological theory.

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Graham Renz
Washington University in St. Louis

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