from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun philosophy The doctrine that every physical substance is the sum of its component matter and the form taken by that matter.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word hylomorphism.


  • Nor does Dietrich wish to distinguish God from creatures by postulating a theory of universal hylomorphism, which is the view that all creatures, even spiritual ones, are marked as creatures by the possession of some form of materiality.

    Dietrich of Freiberg

  • The word “form” in definition (3) naturally calls hylomorphism to mind.

    Descartes' Theory of Ideas

  • Libet proposes a theory of brain-mind interactionism (known in philosophy and theology as hylomorphism) opposed to a strict Cartesian substance dualism.

    Book Review: Quantum Enigma

  • The 2000-year old thing is hylomorphism, the inextricable unity of matter and form.

    March 18th, 2009

  • Aristotelian hylomorphism the thesis that material things are composed of matter and an activating principle called a form had to be rejected due to the new astronomy; an alternative theory of matter was found in ancient atomism.

    Nancey Murphy - Is “Nonreductive Physicalism” an Oxymoron?

  • Drawing upon Aristotelian hylomorphism, he argues that it is the matter of existence that acquires forms as it constantly changes.

    Mulla Sadra

  • Although many aspects of Aristotle's causal theories were extensively and critically debated, this basic hylomorphism persisted throughout; and it is this, rather than anything more arcane, which often poses the greatest problems in assimilating, or evaluating, medieval thought on these topics.

    Medieval Theories of Causation

  • Protevi 2001 looks at the accompanying notions of hylomorphism and self-organization in the history of philosophy; Bonta and Protevi 2004 treat Deleuze and dynamic systems theory with regard to its potentials for geographical work.

    Gilles Deleuze

  • Weisheipl ([1980], p. 243), for example, describes the plurality of forms as “simply a logical consequence of” universal hylomorphism.

    Binarium Famosissimum

  • But in fact the medieval theory of universal hylomorphism maintained something slightly weaker than that; it held that all substances except God were composed of matter and form, whereas God is entirely immaterial.

    Binarium Famosissimum


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.