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Substance and Modality
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
2007 (English)In: Philosophy of Science, Vol. 73, 829-840 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Aristotelian distinction between actual and potential presence of a substance in a mixture forms part of a conception of mixture which stands in contrast to atomist and Stoic theories as propounded by the ancients. But the central ideas on which these theories are built needn’t be combined and opposed to one another in precisely the ways envisaged by these ancient theories. This is well-illustrated by Duhem, who maintained the Aristotelian idea that the original ingredients are only potentially, and not actually, present in a mixture, but sided with the Stoics and against Aristotle on the possibility of cooccupancy. I have argued that the Stoic theory can’t dispense with some such notion as the Aristotelian conception of potentiality in allowing the elements to be actually present in a mixture. Here I suggest that some such Aristotelian notion must be at work in a more modern atomic conception of matter if this is to allow elemental substances to be actually present in compounds, which I think is how compounds are usually understood. Analogous issues arise regarding the status of solutions and their components.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2007. Vol. 73, 829-840 p.
National Category
Philosophy Philosophy
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-8754OAI: diva2:175273
Available from: 2007-09-24 Created: 2007-09-24 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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Needham, Paul
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