Graham Renz, Washington University of St. Louis

Title: Whence the Form?

Abstract: Hylomorphists claim that substances are compounds of matter and form. If a house is a substance, then its matter would be some bricks and timbers and its form the structure those bricks and timbers take on. While hylomorphism is traditionally presented as a theory of change, it only treats the coming-to-be and passing-away of matter-form compounds. But many hylomorphists understand forms to be entities in their own right, as metaphysical parts or constituents of substances. So, a neglected question arises: how, when, and from where do forms come to be? I take up the views of several hylomorphists and argue that they cannot answer these questions satisfactorily. I close with a proposal for an account of the generation of forms based on machinery many hylomorphists already accept, namely, causal powers, that points to a deflationary metaphysics of form.