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Whole, but not one

Marmodoro, Anna

Whole, but not one Thumbnail



John Heil

Sophie Gibb

Alex Carruth


A number of contemporary metaphysicians find Aristotle’s hylomorphism a promising and yet wanting account of what there is, and have engaged in ‘reconditioning’ it into a sound metaphysics (e.g. Jaworski 2016, Koons 2014, Rea 2011, among others). Jonathan Lowe’s four-category ontology aligns with this way of thinking, notwithstanding its explicit rejection of the notion of matter that is typically attributed to Aristotle. This chapter offers a taxonomy of the most recent versions of hylomorphism that have been developed in the literature, and locates Lowe’s views within it. It further addresses the question of whether Aristotle’s hylomorphism does in fact need the ‘reconditioning’ it has recently received in the literature; the chapter argues for a negative answer. It finally focuses on the thorny issue of matter: here the questions addressed are: what Aristotle meant by ‘matter’; how many kinds of matter did he introduce into his system; and how does his system compare to Lowe’s matterless four-category ontology. As a version of hylomorphism, Lowe’s ontology is more Aristotelian than Lowe believed.


Marmodoro, A. (2018). Whole, but not one. In J. Heil, S. Gibb, & A. Carruth (Eds.), Ontology, modality, mind : themes from the metaphysics of E. J. Lowe (60-72). Oxford University Press.

Acceptance Date Jul 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Oct 1, 2018
Publication Date Nov 30, 2018
Deposit Date Oct 24, 2019
Publicly Available Date Nov 30, 2020
Publisher Oxford University Press
Pages 60-72
Book Title Ontology, modality, mind : themes from the metaphysics of E. J. Lowe.


Book Chapter (159 Kb)

Copyright Statement
Marmodoro, Anna (2018). Whole, but not one. In Ontology, Modality, Mind: Themes from the Metaphysics of E. J. Lowe. Heil, John , Gibb, Sophie & Carruth, Alex Oxford: Oxford: Oxford University Press. 60-72 reproduced by permission of Oxford University Press

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