Hylomorphism in General
In De Anima, Aristotle makes extensive use of technical terminology introduced and explained elsewhere in his
writings. He claims, for example, using vocabulary derived from his physical and metaphysical theories, that the
soul is a "first actuality of a natural organic body" (De Anima ii 1, 412b5-6), that it is a "substance as form of a
natural body which has life in potentiality" (De Anima ii 1, 412a20-1) and, similarly, that it "is a first actuality of a
natural body which has life in potentiality" (De Anima ii 1, 412a27-8), all claims which apply to plants, animals
and humans alike.
In characterizing the soul and body in these ways, Aristotle applies concepts drawn from his broader
hylomorphism, a conceptual framework which underlies virtually all of his mature theorizing. It is accordingly
necessary to begin with a brief overview of that framework. Thereafter it will be possible to recount Aristotle's
general approach to soul-...