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Aristotle’s Theory of Material
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Aristotle’s Theory of Material Substance: Heat and Pneuma, Form and Soul

Gad Freudenthal


This book discusses one of Aristotle's central doctrines, his theory of material substance. The book argues that Aristotle's concept of heat is a crucial but hitherto ignored part of this account. Aristotle's ‘canonical’, four-element theory of matter fails to explain the coming-to-be of material substances (the way matter becomes organized) and their persistence (why substances do not disintegrate into their components). Interpreters have highlighted Aristotle's claim that soul is the active cause of the coming-to-be and persistence of living beings. On the basis of dispersed remarks in Arist ... More

Keywords: Aristotle, material substance, heat, matter, material persistence, vital heat, connate pneuma, form, body, soul

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 1999 Print ISBN-13: 9780198238645
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198238645.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Gad Freudenthal, author
Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, Paris