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Are There Two Accounts of Hylomorphism in Metaphysics Book H?

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In this paper I aim to challenge Gill’s reading of Aristotle’s Metaphysics H, according to which in this Book Aristotle would provide us with two different accounts of hylomorphism, the one grounded on matter’s actual thisness (H1–5), the other on matter’s potential thisness (H6). In particular, I try to show how the lines of the text where Gill’s detects the conflict between these two accounts – H1 1042a32–b3 – reveal how the analysis of the role played by matter in generation does not entail its actual thisness (by itself incompatible with the unity requirement of definition), but always (and only) the specific orientation that each matter has towards its actualization. On the basis of this suggestion, I try to sketch an alternative reading of H’s argument-structure, according to which Aristotle is mainly concerned with the distinction of hylomorphism from two different sorts of ontological reductionism: the materialistic one (H2–4–5) and the idealistic one (H3–H6).

Affiliations: 1: Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil,


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1. Baghdassarian F., (2014) ‘"Aristote, Métaphysique H5: La Génération des contraires et la matière"’, in Elenchos xxxv fasc.1, Napoli, Bibliopolis 2014, pp. 6188.
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9. Gill M.L.,, (2010) ‘"Unity of Definitions in Metaphysics H6 and Z12"’, in Lennox J.G.,, Bolton R. (ed.) ‘Being, Nature and Life in Aristotle’, Cambridge University Press, 2010, pp. 97121. [Crossref]
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