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John Wyclif’s Atomism

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines two questions such as why the neglect of John Wyclifs atomism and how a corpuscular matter theory is possible in conjunction with the Aristotelian view that prime matter and substantial form are the fundamental principles of corporeal things. The chapter explains first, the scholastic context of Wyclifs matter theory and, second, motivation for his commitment to an atomistic account. The chapter considers the raionale for and finds the nature of John Wyclifs atomism. In the fourteenth century, the nature of prime matter became a hotly debated philosophical problem. While their hylomorphic ontology led Wyclifs predecessors to reject atomism, he used his hierarchical and pluralistic analysis of composite substances to justify his atomism.

Keywords: John Wyclif s atomism; matter theory



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