Note on corruptionism

The basic argument for Thomistic corruptionism:

1.) Death is separation of form and matter.

2.) No hylomorphic substance exists with form and matter separate.

3.) The human person is a hylomorphic substance.

I take (1) and (2) as inarguable and even definitional. (3) is the tricky. We have to preserve some sense in which it is true, which requires denying an identity of person with the non-material. For all that, hylomorphic substance taken formally is a composite existence and its consequent activity. No Thomist would imagine describing God or angels as hylomorphic or as positing an activity in a stone or a cat that was not of a form-matter composite.

But then there’s us.


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