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Hylomorphic dualism and epiphenomenalism

zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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4/23/2014 7:58:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Ok, well, I'm rather dubious that anyone on these forums has studied classic Aristotelian/Thomisitic philosophy other than me (except maybe SovereignDream) but I'll put this out there.

I've been trying to figure this out for a while.

So according to hylomorphic dualism, the "soul" is the "substantial form" of the body. For example, the form of a tree is tree-ness. Everything under hylomorphism is made up of matter and form, and when put together makes a thing. So when it comes to people, the form of the matter, is the soul.

Here's where I get confused: How does this not lead to epiphenomenalism? It's supposed to solve the interaction problem, since the soul interacts with the body via formal causation. But let's take the example of a tree. You can cut up a tree, burn it, put it through a chipper, make it into a new wooden leg for Dave, etc. and in doing so, affecting the matter affects the form. So we can affect the form of something by affecting the matter.

But how does it work the other way? Does the "form" of the tree ever "do" anything?
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
Sswdwm
Posts: 1,398
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4/23/2014 8:06:59 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 7:58:58 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
Ok, well, I'm rather dubious that anyone on these forums has studied classic Aristotelian/Thomisitic philosophy other than me (except maybe SovereignDream) but I'll put this out there.

I've been trying to figure this out for a while.

So according to hylomorphic dualism, the "soul" is the "substantial form" of the body. For example, the form of a tree is tree-ness. Everything under hylomorphism is made up of matter and form, and when put together makes a thing. So when it comes to people, the form of the matter, is the soul.

Here's where I get confused: How does this not lead to epiphenomenalism? It's supposed to solve the interaction problem, since the soul interacts with the body via formal causation. But let's take the example of a tree. You can cut up a tree, burn it, put it through a chipper, make it into a new wooden leg for Dave, etc. and in doing so, affecting the matter affects the form. So we can affect the form of something by affecting the matter.

But how does it work the other way? Does the "form" of the tree ever "do" anything?

*scratches head*

*takes asprin*

*opens "Philosophy for Dummies book"*

*will be back later*
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Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/23/2014 9:17:40 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 7:58:58 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
Ok, well, I'm rather dubious that anyone on these forums has studied classic Aristotelian/Thomisitic philosophy other than me (except maybe SovereignDream) but I'll put this out there.

I've been trying to figure this out for a while.

So according to hylomorphic dualism, the "soul" is the "substantial form" of the body. For example, the form of a tree is tree-ness. Everything under hylomorphism is made up of matter and form, and when put together makes a thing. So when it comes to people, the form of the matter, is the soul.

Here's where I get confused: How does this not lead to epiphenomenalism? It's supposed to solve the interaction problem, since the soul interacts with the body via formal causation. But let's take the example of a tree. You can cut up a tree, burn it, put it through a chipper, make it into a new wooden leg for Dave, etc. and in doing so, affecting the matter affects the form. So we can affect the form of something by affecting the matter.

But how does it work the other way? Does the "form" of the tree ever "do" anything?

I think hylomorphic dualism destroys free-will. So, if you believe in free-fill, hylomorphic dualism is not for you.
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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4/23/2014 9:19:43 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
The form of a tree is treeness ?
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
Rational_Thinker9119
Posts: 9,054
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4/23/2014 9:20:46 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Also, certain studies show that our consciousness has causal control over neurons [http://newsroom.ucla.edu...]. This seems to directly contradict hylomorphic dualism, because, as you said, the "form" has no causal powers in that sense.
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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4/23/2014 10:06:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 9:17:40 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
At 4/23/2014 7:58:58 AM, zmikecuber wrote:
Ok, well, I'm rather dubious that anyone on these forums has studied classic Aristotelian/Thomisitic philosophy other than me (except maybe SovereignDream) but I'll put this out there.

I've been trying to figure this out for a while.

So according to hylomorphic dualism, the "soul" is the "substantial form" of the body. For example, the form of a tree is tree-ness. Everything under hylomorphism is made up of matter and form, and when put together makes a thing. So when it comes to people, the form of the matter, is the soul.

Here's where I get confused: How does this not lead to epiphenomenalism? It's supposed to solve the interaction problem, since the soul interacts with the body via formal causation. But let's take the example of a tree. You can cut up a tree, burn it, put it through a chipper, make it into a new wooden leg for Dave, etc. and in doing so, affecting the matter affects the form. So we can affect the form of something by affecting the matter.

But how does it work the other way? Does the "form" of the tree ever "do" anything?

I think hylomorphic dualism destroys free-will. So, if you believe in free-fill, hylomorphic dualism is not for you.

That's what confuses me though. Because nearly every hylomorphic dualist thinks that free-will is a property of the substantial form of "person". There's "intellect" and there's "will" in the form of man. But I can't, for the life of me, see how a form can "do" anything.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."
zmikecuber
Posts: 4,093
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4/23/2014 10:07:24 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 4/23/2014 9:20:46 AM, Rational_Thinker9119 wrote:
Also, certain studies show that our consciousness has causal control over neurons [http://newsroom.ucla.edu...]. This seems to directly contradict hylomorphic dualism, because, as you said, the "form" has no causal powers in that sense.

Whoah, I wasn't aware of that. That's really interesting stuff.
"Delete your fvcking sig" -1hard

"primal man had the habit, when he came into contact with fire, of satisfying the infantile desire connected with it, by putting it out with a stream of his urine... Putting out the fire by micturating was therefore a kind of sexual act with a male, an enjoyment of sexual potency in a homosexual competition."