more from Francis Bacon

Single Idea 16625

[catalogued under 9. Objects / C. Structure of Objects / 2. Hylomorphism / c. Form as causal]

Full Idea

Prime, common matter seems to be a kind of accessory and to stand as a substratum, whereas any kind of action seems to be a mere emanation of form. So it is that forms are given all the leading parts.

Gist of Idea

In hylomorphism all the explanation of actions is in the form, and the matter doesn't do anything


Francis Bacon (Philosophical Studies 1611-19 [1617], p.206), quoted by Robert Pasnau - Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671 07.2

Book Reference

Pasnau,Robert: 'Metaphysical Themes 1274-1671' [OUP 2011], p.123

A Reaction

This is a very striking criticism of hylomorphism. The revolution was simple - that actually matter seems to do all the real work, and the form can take a back seat.