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Cosmic hylomorphism

Authors
  • Simpson, William M. R.1
  • 1 University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK , Cambridge (United Kingdom)
Type
Published Article
Journal
European Journal for Philosophy of Science
Publisher
Springer Netherlands
Publication Date
Jan 15, 2021
Volume
11
Issue
1
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1007/s13194-020-00342-5
Source
Springer Nature
Keywords
License
Green

Abstract

The primitive ontology approach to quantum mechanics seeks to account for quantum phenomena in terms of a distribution of matter in three-dimensional space (or four-dimensional spacetime) and a law of nature that describes its temporal development. This approach to explaining quantum phenomena is compatible with either a Humean or powerist account of laws. In this paper, I offer a powerist ontology in which the law is specified by Bohmian mechanics for a global configuration of particles. Unlike in other powerist ontologies, however, this law is not grounded in a structural power that is instantiated by the global configuration. Instead, I combine the primitive ontology approach with Aristotle’s doctrine of hylomorphism to create a new metaphysical model, in which the cosmos is a hylomorphic substance with an intrinsic power to choreograph the trajectories of the particles.

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