Identity Through Change in Aristotle: How Hylomorphism Solved the Parmenidean Puzzle
Alejandro Naranjo (Cornell University)
ABSTRACT: Influential commentators have argued that Aristotle’s discussions regarding change are inconsistent. Against this thesis, the present paper looks at various discussions concerning change in Aristotle’s texts in order to demonstrate that a feature that unifies them does in fact exist. I argue that this unifying feature is that the accidental form of a substance changes while its essential form and matter remain constant. Thus, I claim that this gives us reason to believe that Aristotle always held a hylomorphic theory of substance, i.e., the theory that substances are a complex of matter and form. Moreover, I contend that Aristotle uses this unifying feature to solve the puzzle that Parmenides raised with his argument for the impossibility of change without having to postulate the existence of Platonic Forms.
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