Advertisement

Hylomorphism: a Critical Analysis

  • Antonella CorradiniEmail author
Article
  • 15 Downloads

Abstract

In this essay, I examine those versions of hylomorphism that attribute to form a very strong explicative role. According to them, form is both the source of new emergent powers and expression of the finalist structure of organisms. The main aim of this essay is to show that these two aspects do not holdup because the form only exercises a structural function, but does not exert an autonomous explanatory function. The form only allows the material components to develop those powers that are not manifest in themselves, outside the configuration that forms as structure gives them. If the higher faculties of the human mind are really emergent over the neurophysiological ones, hylomorphism cannot explain it. As a consequence, hylomorphism does not have the resources to oppose materialism, on the one hand, and dualism, on the other.

Notes

References

  1. Bedau, M. (1991). Can biological teleology be naturalized? The Journal of Philosophy, 88, 647–655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bedau, M. (1992). Goal-directed systems and the good. The Monist, 75, 34–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bedau, M. (1998). Where’s the good in teleology? In C. Allen, M. Bekoff, & G. Lauder (Eds.), Nature’s purposes. Analyses of function and design in biology (pp. 261–291). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  4. Bigelow, J., & Pargetter, R. (1998). Functions. In C. Allen, M. Bekoff, & G. Lauder (Eds.), Nature’s purposes. Analyses of function and design in biology (pp. 241–259). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bok, W. J., & von Wahlert, G. (1998). Adaptation and the form-function complex. In C. Allen, M. Bekoff, & G. Lauder (Eds.),Nature’s purposes. Analyses of function and design in biology (pp. 117–167). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  6. Brandsen, B. H., & Joachain, C. J. (1983). Physics of atoms and molecules. London: Longman Group Limited.Google Scholar
  7. Charlton, W. (1970). Aristotle. Physics books I and II. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  8. De Haan, D. D. (2017). Hylomorphism and the new mechanist philosophy in biology, neuroscience, and psychology. In W. Simpson, R. Koons, & N. Teh (Eds.), Neo-Aristotelian perspectives on contemporary science (pp. 293–326). New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Feser, E. (2010). Teleology. A Shopper’s guide. Philosophia Christi, 12, 142–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fine, K. (1999). Things and the parts. Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 23, 61–74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fine, K. (2008). Form and coincidence. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplementary, 82, 101–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Galvan, S. (2001). The principle of deontic reflexivity and the Kantian axiom. Logique et Analyse, 176, 329–347.Google Scholar
  13. Jaworski, W. (2012) Powers, structures, and minds: R. Groff and Greco, J. (eds.) Powers and capacities in philosophy: The new Aristotelianism, New York: Routledge, 145–171.Google Scholar
  14. Jaworski, W. (2016). Structure and the metaphysics of mind: How hylomorphism solves the mind-problem. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Johnston, M. (2006). Hylomorphism. Journal of Philosophy, 103, 652–698.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Koons, R. (2014). Staunch vs. faint-hearted hylomorphism: toward an Aristotelian account of composition. Res Philosophica, 9, 151–177.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Koons, R. (2017a). The ontological and epistemological superiority of hylomorphism. Synthese.  https://doi.org/10.1700/s11229-016-1295-6.
  18. Koons, R. (2017b). Forms are not structures: how hylomorphism and grounding theory illuminate each other. www.academia.edu. Accessed 5 Aug 2018.
  19. Koslicki, K. (2008). The structure of objects. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lowe, E. J. (2012). A neo-Aristotelian substance ontology: neither relational nor constituent. In T. E. Tahko (Ed.), Contemporary Aristotelian metaphysics (pp. 229–248). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  21. Marmodoro, A. (2013). Aristotelian hylomorphism without reconditioning. Philosophical Inquiry, 36, 5–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Millikan, R. (1998). In defense of proper functions. In C. Allen, M. Bekoff, & G. Lauder (Eds.), Nature’s purposes. Analyses of function and design in biology (pp. 295–333). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  23. Mossio, M., & Bich, L. (2017). What makes biological organization teleological? In S. Holm, Basl, J. (Eds.) Teleological Organization, Special Issue of Synthese, 194, 1089–1114.Google Scholar
  24. Mossio, M., Saborido, C., & Moreno, A. (2009). An organizational account of biological functions. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 60(4), 813–841.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Oderberg, D. (2007). Real essentialism. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Oderberg, D. (2008). Teleology: inorganic and organic. In A. M. Gonzales (Ed.), Contemporary perspectives on natural law (pp. 259–279). Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  27. Oderberg, D. (2014). Is form structure? In D. Novotný & L. Novak (Eds.), Neo-Aristotelian perspectives in metaphysics (pp. 164–180). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  28. Pigden, C. R. (2010). Hume on is and ought. New York: Palgrave McMillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Prosperi, G. M. (2011). Strutture molecolari a fondamento della vita. Casualità o finalità nella formazione dei viventi? In F. Facchini (Ed.), Complessità, evoluzione, uomo (pp. 57–77). Milano: Jaca Book.Google Scholar
  30. Rea, M. C. (2011). Hylomorphism reconditioned. Philosophical Perspectives, 25, Metaphysics, 341–358.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Rudwick, M. J. S. (1998). The inference of function from structure in fossils. In C. Allen, M. Bekoff, & G. Lauder (Eds.), Nature's purposes. Analyses of function and design in biology pp. 101–115). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
  32. Schurz, G. (1997). The is-ought problem. An investigation in philosophical logic. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Stump, E. (1995). Non-Cartesian substance dualism and materialism without reductionism. Faith and Philosophy, 12, 505–531.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Williams, B. (1986). Hylomorphism. In: J. Annas (Ed.), Oxford studies in ancient philosophy (Vol. IV, 189–199), Oxford: Clarendon Press. Reprinted in Bernard Williams, The Sense of the Past: Essays in the History of Philosophy, Princeton: Princeton University Press. 2006, 218–228.Google Scholar
  35. Wright, L. (1976). Teleological explanations. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  36. Wright, L. (1998). Functions. In C. Allen, M. Bekoff, & G. Lauder (Eds.), Nature’s purposes. Analyses of function and design in biology. (pp. 51–78). Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di PsicologiaUniversità Cattolica del Sacro CuoreMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations