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Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association

ONLINE FIRST

published on January 4, 2017

Travis Dumsday
DOI: 10.5840/acpaproc20171357

A New Argument for the Incompatibility of Hylomorphism and Metaphysical Naturalism

Within the substance ontology literature in recent analytic metaphysics, four principal theories are in competition: substratum theory, bundle theory, primitive substance theory, and hylomorphism. This paper is part of a larger project attempting to show that each of these four theories is incompatible with metaphysical naturalism (which of course creates a problem for that view, if indeed these four theories are the only potentially workable options). To that end, I explicate and defend the following argument: Premise 1: Prime matter either can exist on its own (unactualized by substantial form) or it cannot. Premise 2: If prime matter can exist on its own (unactualized by substantial form) then metaphysical naturalism is false. Premise 3: If prime matter cannot exist on its own (unactualized by substantial form) then metaphysical naturalism is false. Conclusion: Therefore, either way, metaphysical naturalism is false.