[4.13.1] Peter Olivi on Soul and Body

Peter John Olivi (ca. 1248–1298) in Quaestiones in secundum librum Sententiarum Q51, Q58 proposes an original model of the human being:

  • The human being is a compound of body and soul.
  • The human soul has spiritual matter as substrate and comprises the rational and sensory parts; both are forms in an Aristotelian sense (see [1.3.5]).
  • The rational part of the soul actualizes the spiritual matter, but not the body. This way, it is not directly linked to the body, so the body’s death does not endanger its immortality.
  • The sensory part of the soul actualizes both spiritual matter and the human body.
  • The unity of the soul‘s intellectual and sensory parts is assured since both are forms of the soul’s same spiritual matter. 
  • This way, the hylomorphic model proposed by Aristotle (see [1.3.7]) and accepted by Augustine (see [4.9.6]) is dropped since Olivi sustains that the human soul in its entirety is not the form of the body; however, its unity is preserved.
  • Olivi’s model proposes a plurality of forms, like Kilwardby’s (see [4.12.1]).

The following OntoUML diagram presents Olivi’s explanation of the structure of the human being:

Peter Olivi on soul and body
ClassDescriptionRelations
HumanA human person is “unity of the soul and the body”
HumanSoul“The [human] soul is the form of the body only with respect to its sensory and nutritive part.”exclusive part of Human; contains SpiritualMatter
RationalSoul“First, he [Olivi] is not denying that the rational part of the soul is a form, or even that it is the form of a human being. […]
Olivi argues that the rational part of the soul, intellect and will, is a form of this spiritual matter. It is acceptable to speak of intellect as the form of a human being since the spiritual matter belongs to the human being. But because the spiritual matter of the soul is distinct from the corporeal matter of the body, Olivi can maintain that the rational part is not the form of the body.”
shared part of HumanSoul; subkind of Form; actualizes SpiritualMatter
SensorySoul“the sensory soul actualizes a body by giving it life and the capacity for sensation”exclusive part of HumanSoul; subkind of Form; actualizes SpiritualMatter; actualizes HumanBody
SpiritualMatter“[…] spiritual entities (angels and human souls) also have a material substratum, the so-called spiritual matter. […]
The substantial union between the intellectual and sensory parts is due to their being the forms of the same spiritual matter of the soul.”
subkind of Matter
FormForm in Aristotelian sense (see [1.3.5])
HumanBodyA living human body.exclusive part of Human; contains CorporealMatter
CorporealMatter“The human body and all material objects are made of corporeal matter […].”subkind of Matter
Matter “To begin with, he follows Bonaventure and makes a distinction between two kinds of matter. The human body and all material objects are made of corporeal matter, but spiritual entities (angels and human souls) also have a material substratum, the so-called spiritual matter.”

Sources

  • All citations from: Pasnau, Robert and Juhana Toivanen, “Peter John Olivi”The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • Pasnau, Robert, “Olivi on the Metaphysics of Soul”, Medieval Philosophy and Theology 6 (1997), 109-132

First published: 18/2/2021

[4.12.3] Robert Kilwardby on Syllogistic Form and Matter

Robert Kilwardby (ca. 1215–1279 AD), in his commentary to Aristotle’s “Prior Analytics commentary,” enriches the Arostotelian logic (see [1.3.9]) with a few new perspectives:

  • He applies the theory of four causes (see [1.3.4]) on syllogism and concludes that syllogisms, like any other objects, have material, formal, efficient, and final causes.
  • Syllogisms have matter (the premises and terms) and form (the mood and figure), thus presenting a hylomorphic structure (see [1.3.5])

The following  OntoUML diagram presents the main elements of Kilwarby’s hylomorphic syllogism:

Kilwardby on syllogistic matter and form
ClassDescriptionRelations
Syllogism“A syllogism is composed of form as well as matter.23 In elaborating
on this idea, Kilwardby applies the Aristotelian doctrine of causes to the syllogism.” (Thom, 2013)
A syllogism is an “inference with two premises, each of which is a categorical sentence, having exactly one term in common, and having as conclusion a categorical sentence the terms of which are just those two terms not shared by the premises”. (Smith, 2018)
Not all the triplets of two premises and one conclusion of the required structure are syllogisms, only just those who lead to a valid inference, listed in the moods.
E.g. P1: All man are mortal. P2: Socrates is man, C: Socrates is mortal.
has Form; has Matter; relates 2 Premises with 1 Conclusion; produces KnowledgeOrBelief
PropositionPropositions (assertion, apophanseis) are sentences with a specific structure: “every such sentence must have the same structure: it must contain a subject and a predicate and must either affirm or deny the predicate of the subject.” (Smith, 2018)
Term“Subjects and predicates of assertions are terms (horos) which can be either individual, e.g. Socrates, or universal, e.g. human. Subjects may be individual or universal, but predicates can only be universals.”(Smith, 2018)shared part of Proposition
PremiseA possible role of an Proposition, relative to a Syllogism is Premise (protasis).
E.g. P1: All man are mortal. P2: Socrates is man.
in material relation with Conclusion; role of Proposition
MajorPremise“The major premise occupies a determining role, since it is ‘contracted’ by the minor premise to produce the conclusion. Because of this relation between major and minor premise, Kilwardby reasons, the minor should not be counted along with the major; and so, he says, the Aristotelian definition of the syllogism rightly names oratio (in the singular) as its genus, not orationes.” (Thom, 2013)
E.g. P1: All man are mortal.
subkind of Premise
MinorPremise“The major premise occupies a determining role, since it is ‘contracted’ by the minor premise to produce the conclusion. (Thom, 2013)
E.g. P2: Socrates is man.
subkind of Premise
ConclusionA possible role of an Proposition, relative to an Syllogism is Conclusion (sumperasma).
E.g. C: Socrates is mortal.
role of Proposition
Figure“The middle term must be either subject or predicate of each premise, and this can occur in three ways: the middle term can be the subject of one premise and the predicate of the other, the predicate of both premises, or the subject of both premises. Aristotle refers to these term arrangements as figures (schêmata)”. (Smith, 2018)
There are 3 Figures.
characterizes Syllogism
MoodMood characterizes a syllogism, and is prooved with a Proof. There are 14 Moods, 4 for the First figure, 4 for the Second figure, and 6 fot the Third figure.characterizes Syllogism
MatterThe matter of the syllogism “consists of two propositions (the
major and minor premises) and three terms. It is worth noting that on Kilwardby’s account, the syllogism is materially constituted by two propositions, not three. The conclusion is not part of the syllogism; therefore, the syllogism is not a type of consequence. The syllogism’s two premises, however, possessa unity thanks to the fact that they aim at a single conclusion.” (Thom, 2013)
E.g. matter in this example:
Major premise: All man are mortal.
Minor PremiseSocrates is man
Terms: man, mortal, Socrates
is MaterialCause; generalizes Premise and Term
Form“A syllogism’s form is the figure and mood as shown respectively by the relative position of the terms in the premises and by the premises’ quality and quantity; this is indicated by Aristotle when he says that in the syllogism certain things are posited (positis).”is FormalCause; generalizes Mood and Figure
Knowledge
OrBelief
“The demonstrative and dialectical syllogism also have a final cause, namely, the production respectively of knowledge or belief.” (Thom, 2013)is FinalCause
HumanHumanproduces Syllogism; is EfficientCause
Cause“Aristotle places the following crucial condition on proper knowledge: we think we have knowledge of a thing only when we have grasped its cause (aitia).” (Falcon, 2019)
MaterialCause“The material cause: ‘that out of which’, e.g., the bronze of a statue. […]
The bronze enters in the explanation of the production of the statue as the material cause. Note that the bronze is not only the material out of which the statue is made; it is also the subject of change, that is, the thing that undergoes the change and results in a statue. The bronze is melted and poured in order to acquire a new shape, the shape of the statue.” (Falcon, 2019)
subkind of Cause
FinalCause“The final cause: ‘the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done’, e.g., health is the end of walking, losing weight, purging, drugs, and surgical tools.” (Falcon, 2019)subkind of Cause
EfficientCause“the actual syllogisms that people produce have efficient causes.” (Thom, 2013))
“The efficient cause: ‘the primary source of the change or rest’, e.g., the artisan, the art of bronze-casting the statue, the man who gives advice, the father of the child.” (Falcon, 2019)
subkind of Cause
FormalCauseFormal cause, or the expression of what it is”, e.g., the shape of a statue. […]
The bronze is melted and poured in order to acquire a new shape, the shape of the statue. This shape enters in the explanation of the production of the statue as the formal cause.” (Falcon, 2019)
subkind of Cause

Sources

  • Thom, Paul, “Robert Kilwardby on the Syllogistic Form”, A Companion to the Philosophy of Robert Kilwardby, Christopher Henrik Lagerlund and Paul Thom (ed), Brill, 2013
  • Falcon, Andrea, “Aristotle on Causality“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • Smith, Robin, “Aristotle’s Logic“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)
  • Silva, José Filipe, “Robert Kilwardby“, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2016 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.)

First published: 11/2/2021