Olivi on the Metaphysics of Soul

Olivi on the Metaphysics of Soul

Pasnau, Robert

Medieval Philosophy and Theology, vol. 6, no. 2 (1997)


The centerpiece of Aristotle’s De anima is his account of the soul-body relationship in terms of form: the soul is “the form of a natural body that potentially has life”. Recent evaluations of this doctrine have varied widely, from effusive to dismissive. Kathleen Wilkes parallels Aristotle’s hylomorphism with “the most promising form” of contemporary functionalism; his theory, she holds, is one to which philosophers and scientists should be returning, and in fact are returning.’ Jonathan Barnes, in contrast, writes that the De anima analysis “makes so broad a use of ‘form’ and ‘matter’ that their analytical powers are entirely lost.”

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