A theory of substantial forms asserts that forms (or ideas) organize matter and make it intelligible. Substantial forms are the source of properties, order, unity, identity, and information about objects.
The idea of substantial forms dominates ancient Greek philosophy and medieval philosophy, but has fallen out of favour in modern philosophy. The idea of substantial forms has been abandoned for a mechanical, or “bottom-up” theory of organization.
Famous quotes containing the words substantial and/or form:
“Americans have internalized the value that mothers of young children should be mothers first and foremost, and not paid workers. The result is that a substantial amount of confusion, ambivalence, guilt, and anxiety is experienced by working mothers. Our cultural expectations of mother and realities of female participation in the labor force are directly contradictory.”
—Ruth E. Zambrana, U.S. researcher, M. Hurst, and R.L. Hite. The Working Mother in Contemporary Perspectives: A Review of Literature, Pediatrics (December 1979)
“Every idea is endowed of itself with immortal life, like a human being. All created form, even that which is created by man, is immortal. For form is independent of matter: molecules do not constitute form.”
—Charles Baudelaire (18211867)