Tuesday, August 26, 2008

strange bedfellows

I can’t speak for everyone, but for myself I do not believe in substantial forms and hence find myself rejecting all types of hylomorphism in ontology.

Many of my friends share this rejection of hylomorphism as either a description or an explanation of phenomena.

What I find interesting and puzzling is that many of my religiously serious friends (and I count myself as religiously serious) who reject substantial forms with all the hylomorphic implications nevertheless retain it in their dualistic view of human persons. I should be a little more precise: either their substantial dualistic views of human persons or their advert of the medieval “soul is the form of the body” views.

I will not go so far as to say that this is inconsistent. It’s not. But it does strike me as odd.

Perhaps there are independent reasons to think that something like hylomorphism is required in the case of human beings but not so in the case of all other natural phenomena. (Human beings are supernatural phenomena? I don’t quite get that if that is indeed a possible response.)

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