What We Are Reading Today: Aristotle on Substance by Mary Louise Gill

What We Are Reading Today: Aristotle on Substance by Mary Louise Gill
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Updated 05 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Aristotle on Substance by Mary Louise Gill

What We Are Reading Today: Aristotle on Substance by Mary Louise Gill

This book explores a fundamental tension in Aristotle’s metaphysics: How can an entity such as a living organism composite generated through the imposition of form on preexisting matter have the conceptual unity that Aristotle demands of primary substances? Mary Louise Gill bases her treatment of the problem of unity, and of Aristotle’s solution, on a fresh interpretation of the relation between matter and form. Challenging the traditional understanding of Aristotelian matter, she argues that material substances are subverted by matter and maintained by form that controls the matter to serve a positive end. The unity of material substances thus involves a dynamic relation between resistant materials and directive ends.

Aristotle on Substance offers both a general account of matter, form, and substantial unity and a specific assessment of particular Aristotelian arguments. At every point, Gill engages Aristotle on his own philosophical ground through the detailed analysis of central, and often controversial, texts from the Metaphysics, Physics, On Generation and Corruption, De Anima, De Caelo, and the biological works. 

The result is a coherent, firmly grounded rethinking of Aristotle’s central metaphysical concepts and of his struggle toward a fully consistent theory of material substances.


What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo
Updated 16 January 2021

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

What We Are Reading Today: Mediocre by Ijeoma Oluo

From the author of the New York Times bestseller So You Want to Talk About Race, a history of white male America and a scathing indictment of what it has cost us.
After the election of Donald Trump, and the escalation of white male rage and increased hostility toward immigrants that came with him, New York Times-bestselling author Ijeoma Oluo found herself in conversation with Americans around the country, pondering one central question: How did we get here?
Oluo answers that question by pinpointing white men’s deliberate efforts to subvert women, people of color, and the disenfranchised. Through research and interviews, Oluo investigates the backstory of America’s growth, from immigrant migration to our national ethos around ingenuity, from the shaping of economic policy to the protection of sociopolitical movements that fortify male power. In the end, she shows how white men have long maintained a stranglehold on leadership and sorely undermined the pursuit of happiness for all, according to a review at goodreads.com.