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3/03/2018 8:29 pm  #1

Book recommendations hylemorphism and subatomic structure?



3/05/2018 5:51 am  #2

Re: Book recommendations hylemorphism and subatomic structure?


3/05/2018 11:44 pm  #3

Re: Book recommendations hylemorphism and subatomic structure?

seigneur wrote:

Maybe "Is form structure?" by Oderberg

I have Real Essentialism but I don't think I've ever given that article a read. Thanks.

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3/06/2018 2:19 am  #4

Re: Book recommendations hylemorphism and subatomic structure?

It would be useful to know what exact question you are attempting to solve. Here you ask, "Do you think the subatomic is just a mathematical structure we abstract from the wholeness of a substance? I know the reductionist contra the essentialist will claim just the opposite, that the subatomic is the substance."

Those questions seem to seek to equate the scholastic concept of substance with some current concept in modern physics. This is not how it works.

The article I gave, "Is [Aristotelian/scholastic] form [the same as physical] structure?" answers basically no. They cannot be equated. This is to do with the respective (a scholastic's and a physicist's, respectively) presuppositions or premises and aims which are mutually incompatible. The physicist talks about physics. The scholastic talks about metaphysics, which is a different plane of reality.

To return to your question that I quoted in the beginning, everything the physicist talks about is an abstraction or reduction from the wholeness. This goes both for the atomic level and the subatomic. Atoms are not tiny physical objects that bounce around, but rather forces with consistently attributable values. Subatomic level is the same way. Neither is the same thing as the scholastic substance, but rather the physical manifestation of the substance, namely matter.


3/20/2018 1:37 am  #5

Re: Book recommendations hylemorphism and subatomic structure?

In by Gil Sanders there is the following potentially illuminating passage.

Gil Sanders wrote:

A crucial  consequence  of hylomorphism  is  that  it  denies  that  the  macro world is  reducible to particles.  The  particles  in a  substance  do not  exist  as  actual  particles  in a  macro level  substance  but  rather exist  virtually  as  parts  of a  macro substance  – i.e. the  particles  do not  exist  as individual  substances  arranged as  some  pattern (contra  reductionism) but  exist  only as  parts  of a substance  that  confer and derive  their actuality to and from  the  substantial  form  as  a  whole.  A substance  is  the  “essence  of a  thing… what  it  is  said to be  in respect  of itself”  (Metaphysics  Z.4. 1029b14). Something exists  virtually  insofar as  it  has  the  potential  to exist  as  an individual  substance  but  actually  exists  not  as  an individual  substance  but  as  a  part  of another substance  by both giving its  actuality to this  substance  and having its  actuality  through  the  substance.  A  good example  is  H20.  The  hydrogen and the  oxygen do not  exist  as  individual  substances, but  rather exist  as  virtual  parts  of the  water substance.  The  water thereby acquires  powers  that  neither hydrogen nor oxygen have  in themselves, but  nor could these  powers  be  acquired without  either of their particular actualities  (as  opposed to some  other actual  chemical) being so conjoined to become  a  new  substance.  Thus  in some  sense, hydrogen and oxygen stop existing as  actual  things.

Make of it whatever you will, but my intuition has always agreed that "particles" is the wrong name for whatever it is physicists are observing. "Particles" gives the impression of tiny billiard balls or such objects and that's the wrong impression.

The right impression is more like water that as if falls into particles (waterdrops) when you, wanting to take a closer look, isolate smaller amounts of it, and then at some point it becomes indivisible and turns into vapor. And vapor is not non-water. It's water-beyond-waterdrops. The same way, quantum phenomena are not non-matter. They are matter-beyond-particles where the particles are no more "what matter really is" than waterdrops are "what water really is". It's matter/water in a particular state given particular conditions.


3/20/2018 3:44 am  #6

Re: Book recommendations hylemorphism and subatomic structure?

That passage is illuminating, and it'd helping me formulate certain ideas that have been rolling around in my head. The subatomic and atomic structures of the physical realm have always been a mystery to me. I'm starting to think the subatomic and atomic structures of reality are always constituent, always subservient to a higher metaphysical determinant--be it form? And perhaps the best way to view these fundamental levels of reality is by informing our analyses of them with our understanding of the macro realities they inhere. And as far as I understand the subatomic level is always virtually present in the atomic level and doesn't exist independently.

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