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PHIL249 Study Guide - Hylomorphism, Hyle, Nominalism

1 pages27 viewsFall 2013

Philosophy at St Joseph's College
Course Code
Matthew Kostelecky

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Greek ø is about trying to know things as they undergo change. How do we know things
even though they are changing? There seems to be some kind of permanence and
immutability to things, despite that they are changing and dying.
Everything is undergoing a process of CORRUPTION / DESTRUCTION / CHANGE
HERACLITUS - one of his aphorisms is you can never step into the same river twice.
(everything is always undergoing a constant process of change, alteration,
for heraclitus, the basic constituent feature of the universe is POLEMUS, a struggle.
(also translated fight or war)
PYTHAGORAS - the stability of things. geometry. the triangularity of triangles.
harmonies that attain between different notes. STABILITY, PERMANENCE
PARMENIDES - All is being. Everything that is, has to be, because if it isn't, it
isn't. Because nothing isn't anything, so anything that is, is. So being is the basic
substrate. This means there is permanence and change.
PLATO - harmonizes these two perspectives: change & stability. like the pythagoreans,
we have stability when we KNOW THINGS. in plato too, the things that are stable are
the things that we know. the things that change are the external things, out there in
the world. in plato we have metaphysics: change, epistemology: stability. The result:
ARISTOTLE - will give his own gloss on this
PORPHYRY - will use aristotle to explain plato, which is weird.
realist - what is real are the ideas / forms
nominalist - what is real are the things
aristotle's principle of noncontradiction: a thing cannot both be and not be at the
same time and in the same respect.
FORM - "eidos" in plato - IDEA, and "morphe" in aristotle - SHAPE. (remember this is
where stability comes from)
MATTER - "hyle" (where change takes place)
hylemorphism - aristotle's formulation.
morphe - actuality
hyle - potentiality
aristotle thought that the human soul was formed as the body. plato thought the human
body was a prison for a soul, or a charioteer and the body is a team of horses. he
also says the human soul is related to the body as a sailor to its ship.
1st actuality - potentiality - 2nd actuality.
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