Aristotle on Substance and Unity

The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 10:79-91 (2007)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

In this article I argue that in H 6 Aristotle's main concern is to explain both the unity of form and the unity of composite substance. Commentators have taken H 6 as concerned with either the unity of form or the unity of the composite substance, but not with both. But there is no exclusive "either/or". The correct position is "both/and". I argue that proper identification of the aim of the inquiry of H 6 indicates that Aristotle is concerned with both the unity of form and the unity of composite substance. On my interpretation, Aristotle's intention is to defend the theory of substance-as-cause by dealing with a possible problem. The possible problem arises from a combination of (a) speaking about the parts of form and the parts of composite substances and (b) the principle that parts of a whole need a unifying cause in order to be one and not many. Aristotle has (a') spoken about the parts of form and the parts of composite substance. He has also (b') claimed that the parts of a whole have to have a unifying cause in order to be one and not many. Do form and composite substance, then, have a unifying cause for their unity? Aristotle sees a possible problem arising from thinking that they do. If both form and composite particulars need a unifying cause, form cannot be substance, and composite substances, as composites of form and matter, cannot be unities, but must be mere heaps of matter. The problems of theunity of form and the unity of composite substance are similar, then; and the unity of each must be accounted for. Not surprisingly, the problems being similar, the solutions to those problems, the accounts of the unity of form and composite substance, are similar as well. The two are thus discussed together in H 6. It is there that Aristotle provides such accounts. H 6, then, concerns both the unity of form and the unity of composite substance.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,088

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Aristotle on Substance and Unity.Hye-Kyung Kim - 2007 - The Proceedings of the Twenty-First World Congress of Philosophy 10:79-91.
Metaphysics H 6 and the Problem of Unity.Hye-Kyung Kim - 2008 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (1):25-42.
Substance, Independence and Unity.Kathrin Koslicki - 2013 - In Edward Feser (ed.), Aristotle on Method and Metaphysics. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 169-195.
Unity and Primary Substance for Aristotle.Catherine Jack Deavel - 2003 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 77:159-172.
The Substantial Unity of Material Substances.John Douglas Kronen - 1990 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Buffalo

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-02-15

Downloads
20 (#677,480)

6 months
3 (#550,572)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Hye-Kyung Kim
University of Wisconsin Greenbay

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references