Matter, Extension and Intellect in Aristotle

  • Author / Creator
    Small, Matthew A
  • In this paper, I shall stress the importance of discussing Aristotle’s theory of matter in light of his theory of intellect. I shall focus upon a division of the prime matter debate, whose advocates reject prime matter on the grounds that the common matter of the elements is essentially extended, and thus, not a pure potentiality. Failing to acknowledge that the human intellect as described in the De Anima is a material substratum, advocates of this position typically defend their view by ascribing to Aristotle the Cartesian principle that all matter is essentially extended. But the materiality of the intellect, combined with Aristotle’s doctrine of the incorporeality of nous, entails that Aristotle believed in an essentially (and necessarily) unextended species of matter.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Master of Arts
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Department of Philosophy
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Corkum, Philip (Philosophy)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Harris, John (History and Classics)
    • Tweedale, Martin (Philosophy)
    • Kitchen, John (History and Classics)