Thomas Aquinas

800 Words 4 Pages
This essay shall describe the natures of matter, form and privation on The Principles of Nature by Thomas Aquinas.

Matter can be distinguished in two: matter out of which, and matter in which. The first matter is potentiality to substantial being and the latter is one to accidental being, a subject which gives being to accidents. These matters can be being through substantial form and accidental form respectively. These two forms separate generation to unconditional and accidental since “generation is motion toward a form” (P.3). Also, because a generation is a movement from no-entity to an entity in potentiality, privation is also required in generation. In summary, matter as “entity in potentiality”, privation and form are necessary for a thing to be generated.

These three can be called principles. A form is that to which generation moves, whereas matter and privation are that from which generation moves. However, privation works as principal per accidens, while the other two do as principles per se. Accidents are distinguished into two: necessary and unnecessary. For instance, risibility is a necessary accident to human beings, whereas whiteness is not. Privation is a necessary accident because all matter can exist in a different form, and thus privation is necessary for a generation.
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Privation is a lack of perfectness, in which is intended by nature, whereas negation is not. For example, the invisibility of stone is not privation but negation because a stone is not intended to be with visibility by nature. Therefore, when non-entity become an entity, privation will disappear. However, a matter which does not imply a privation is not transient. When bronze is a matter for a statue, bronze does not imply a privation. Therefore, the matter still remains after generation of statue, while flour as the matter of bread, which implies a privation of the form of bread, does not continue to

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