Off-campus UNL users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your NU ID and password. When you are done browsing please remember to return to this page and log out.
Non-UNL users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.
Hylomorphic composition: Simple substances and composite objects
In chapter one, I distinguish between material objects and material substances. I then argue that material substances – ontologically independent beings – are substantially simple (i.e., material substances lack substantial parts). The argument for this turns on showing that only material substances can bear basic, non-structural properties. I then argue that human beings are material substances, and hence are substantially simple. In chapter two, I lay out a basic picture of the ontological structure of material substances: namely, I argue that material substances are what some (see, Brower 2014) call hylomorphic compounds of matter and form. Call this position the Thomistic Substratum Theory of material substances. I argue that the Thomistic substratum theory generates a hierarchy of compounds – substances and accidental unities – that prove to be explanatorily advantageous. In chapter three, I defend the thesis that there are macroscopic material substances that lack substantial parts against a handful of objections to the contrary. I then discuss how the Thomistic Substratum Theorist could account for the existence of (non-substantial) parts of material substances. In chapter four, I return to discuss the nature of material objects in general, paying close attention to non-substantial material objects. I argue that non-substantial material objects are accidental unities. In order to adequately explain this position, I turn to a more detailed examination of accidental unities and distinguish between substantially simple and complex unities. I argue that most of the non-substantial material objects we encounter in the world around us (e.g., artifacts) are substantially complex accidental unities. I then explain what the parts of such material objects are. Finally, I turn to discuss how this account can avoid several of the classical (and recalcitrant) ontological problems – e.g., the problem of the many, the problem of causal overdetermination, etc. – by appealing to the notion of a metaphysical grounding relation, which also might alleviate some of the parsimonious concerns regarding the permissiveness of Thomistic Substratum Theory.
Jaeger, Andrew J, "Hylomorphic composition: Simple substances and composite objects" (2014). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI3666199.