PDC Homepage

Home » Products » Purchase

Studia Neoaristotelica

Volume 8, Issue 2, 2011

A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Peter Volek
Pages 178-188
DOI: 10.5840/studneoar20118214

Hylomorphism as a Solution for Freedom and for Personal Identity
A Journal of Analytic Scholasticism

Secundum Petrum Bieri dualismus ontologicus hoc trilemma generat: 1) Status mentis non sunt status physici. 2) Status mentis causalitatem exerceunt in regionem statuum physicorum. 3) Regio statuum physicorum est causaliter clausa. Haec tertia propositio a Bieri “physicalismum methodologicum” exprimere dicitur. Ut hoc trilemma solvat, Bieri unum eius membrorum reicere suadet. Hylemorphismus causalitatem mentis ut causalitetem formalem explicat, relationem vero hominis ad mundum ut causalitatem efficientem. Unde clausura causalis mundi de causalitate efficiente intelligi potest, quae in physica investigatur. Liberum arbitrium ab intentione mentis originem trahit. Etiam possibilitas libertatis humanae ex intentionalitate mentis explicari potest. Libertas adhuc hominis ut electio unae duarum optionum intelligi potest. Homo eligens rationes ponderat, quae sunt abstractae et distinctae a causis efficientibus rerum materialium, quae sunt concretae. Doctrina hylemorfica insuper fundamenum sufficiens ad problema identitatis personae per tempus solvendum praebere potest. Quoniam omnia elementa materialia in homine per tempus mutantur – imo DNA mutari potest –, principium identitatis immateriale esse debet. Pro principio identitatis igitur forma substantialis personae accipi potest, quae est metaphysica explicatio naturae mentis, quae actionem liberam electione deliberata per intentionalitatem libertatemque arbitrii inchoare potest) Peter Bieri formulates the assumptions of the ontological dualism via a trilemma: 1) Mental states are not physical states. 2) Mental states have causal effects in the realm of physical states. 3) The realm of physical states is causally closed. Bieri labels the third sentence of this trilemma as methodological physicalism. In order to solve this trilemma Bieri proposes to abandon one of the three premises. Hylomorphism explains mental causality as formal causality, and the relation between human beings and the world as efficient causality. Thus, the causal closure of the world can be understood as closure of the efficient causes, which are studied by physics. Free decision begins with the intentionality of the mind. The possibility of human freedom can also be explained through the intentionality of the mind. Human freedom can be understood as a choice between two alternatives. When choosing, human beings weigh reasons which are abstract and distinct from the efficient causes of material objects that are concrete. Hylomorphism can, further, provide sufficient grounds for solving the issue of personal identity through time. Since all the material elements in a human being change through time – even the DNA can change – the principle of identity cannot be material in character. Thus, it is the substantial form of a person (i.e. the metaphysical explanation of the mind, which is capable of initiating free action through its intentionality and freedom of choice in deliberate decision making) that can be accepted as the principle of identity.

Usage and Metrics
Dimensions
PDC