Matter - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Philosophy

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 17 pages of information about Matter.
This section contains 4,882 words
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Greek Philosophy

As far as we can judge from the surviving texts and the testimony of Aristotle, the idea of a constituent or material ingredient (hyle) common to things of all kinds was a central concept of the Ionian school of philosophy. The Ionian philosophers, beginning with Thales of Miletus, disagreed about the nature of this common ingredient. Some likened it to water, others to air or breath, others to fire; some insisted that it could have no properties analogous to those of any familiar substance but must be entirely undifferentiated or unlimited. Yet they agreed, at any rate, in their statement of the basic philosophical problem: "What universal, permanent substance underlies the variety and change of the physical world?"

It would be a mistake, however, to think of the Ionians as materialists in the modern sense. As they conceived it, the universal material of things was far from...

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This section contains 4,882 words
(approx. 17 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Matter Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Matter from Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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