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Aquinas’s Ontology of the Material WorldChange, Hylomorphism, and Material Objects$
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Jeffrey E. Brower

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198714293

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198714293.001.0001

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Substantial vs. Accidental Change

Substantial vs. Accidental Change

(p.74) 4 Substantial vs. Accidental Change
Aquinas’s Ontology of the Material World

Jeffrey E. Brower

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Aquinas’s specific account of the two main subtypes or categories in terms of which all generation and corruption are to be understood—namely, substantial vs. accidental change. In addition to filling out the functional hylomorphism associated with Aquinas’s general account of change, this chapter highlights two important commitments of Aquinas’s views that his commentators have yet to appreciate—namely, (1) that hylomorphic compounds are best understood as concrete states of affairs or facts, and (2) that distinct hylomorphic compounds can bear to one another a form of numerical sameness that falls short of identity.

Keywords:   substantial change, accidental change, prime matter, substantial form, material substance, accidental form, accidental unity, numerical sameness without identity, functional hylomorphism

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