Christoph Lüthy

How many types of matter for a mechanical philosophy?

Aristotle’s notion of prime matter became one of the main targets of the early modern novatores. It was decried as a ridiculous entity that was at once pure potentiality and yet capable of giving body to substantial forms. These substantial forms, in turn, constituted the second main target of derision as their ontological status seemed equally ill-defined. This double attack can be traced through such novatores as Patrizzi, Bruno, Basson, Gorlaeus and Descartes all the way up to Boyle.