Single Idea 16590

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 6. Early Matter Theories / a. Greek matter]

Full Idea

By matter I mean that which in itself is neither a particular thing nor a certain quantity nor assigned to any other of the categories by which being is determined.

Gist of Idea

Matter is neither a particular thing nor a member of a determinate category


Aristotle (Metaphysics [c.324 BCE], 1029a20)

Book Reference

Aristotle: 'The Basic Works of Aristotle', ed/tr. McKeon,Richard [Modern Library Classics 2001], p.785

A Reaction

This seems to be the classic definition of matter in Aristotle. He doesn't say here that matter has an inferior mode of existence, but elsewhere he says that it is potential rather than actual, which seems to confiscate its passport.