Whence the Form?

Australasian Journal of Philosophy (forthcoming)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Hylomorphists claim that substances—human beings, oak trees, chemical compounds—are compounds of matter and form. If a house is a substance, then its matter would be some bricks and timbers and its form the structure those bricks and timbers take on. While hylomorphism is traditionally presented as a theory of change, it only treats the coming-to-be and passing-away of matter-form compounds. But many hylomorphists understand forms to be entities in their own right, as parts or constituents of substances. So, a neglected question arises: how, when, and from where do forms come to be? I take up the view of one prominent and representative hylomorphist, Kathrin Koslicki, and argue that she cannot answer these questions satisfactorily. I close with a proposal for an account of the generation of forms based on machinery many hylomorphists already accept, namely, causal powers, that points to a deflationary metaphysics of form.

Author's Profile

Graham Renz
Marian University


Added to PP

54 (#84,146)

6 months
54 (#53,916)

Historical graph of downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.
How can I increase my downloads?