Right, they are distinct, which is exactly the point! Using your lingo, what a thing "does" (the way it's arranged) is just as real as what it "is" (the particles themselves). — Theorem
That does not follow at all; please google nominalism if you are confused about other possibilities.
Look, if you want to deny the reality of form, go ahead, but you're just unwittingly throwing out all of modern physics with it. Modern physics is just maths after all. — Theorem
Modern physics goes on fine without dubious metaphysics.
Yes, there are good reasons. We've been discussing them already. — Theorem
Your arguments fail since you conflate the is
of identity with the is
Your mangling Aristotle’s metaphysics through your misunderstanding. — Theorem
You are misinformed.
Aristotle would not have denied that entities such as hydrogen and oxygen atoms have their own causal powers. — Theorem
Aristotle would deny that matter, by itself, has causal power over forms; Aristotle would argue that the form of hydrogen actualizes the potential of matter. The hydrogen in the scientist's lab is not "matter" for Aristotle, but a hylomorphic compound!
It just that Aristotle had the good sense to realize that you can’t eliminate form from your ontology without courting absurdity. — Theorem
When Aristotle says that matter is the principle of potentiality he means something very specific. — Theorem
Agreed, as Aristotle interpreted matter and form, respectively, as potentiality and actuality. What a substance, the hylomorphic compound of form and matter, is
is its actuality, but the substance has an ability to become
its potentiality- for example, an actual caterpillar is a potential butterfly.
Hydrogen and oxygen are concrete, material particulars with their own causal powers. — Theorem
For Aristotle, hydrogen and oxygen are NOT "concrete, material particulars with their own causal powers." Aristotle believed that the essence of a thing was its substance and necessarily composed of matter and form; therefore, Aristotle would describe an atom, such as hydrogen and oxygen, as a hylomorphic compound of
And yet, taken individually, hydrogen and oxygen atoms are only potentially a water molecule. That's what it means to say that they are the material cause of the water molecule. — Theorem
You want to identify the MATERIAL cause of the water molecule as hydrogen and oxygen atoms, but it is a FORM that makes something hydrogen and oxygen; indeed, it seems that all of what one would ordinarily consider as the properties of things are aspects of the form
of the thing. Given this fact, what makes the cause "material?" Furthermore, you mention that atoms are potentially molecules, but surely what a thing is "potentially" depends on what it is ACTUALITY like and depends on the properties (or the aspects of the FORM) of the thing- again, I don't see what role matter plays here...
They play the role of matter with respect to the molecule H20 because something else is required in order for them to actualize a water molecule. — Theorem
Again, you just repeat yourself and you confuse the Aristotlean understanding of matter with a physicalist understanding of matter. No physicalist will agree with you that hydrogen and oxygen are just a piece of something like prime matter; that wouldn't make any sense...
The number and arrangement of atoms plays the role of formal cause with respect to the water molecule because the it is what the makes the molecule a water molecule as opposed to some other type of molecule. — Theorem
As stated already, what one might think of as the properties of a thing are aspects of the form of the thing. This really should show you that there is no way to ever tell when matter is present and when matter is not present- it just has to be asserted as the case. In truth, it appears that its forms all the way down to the most basic substances that make up reality.
The physical interaction between the atoms that leads to the actualization of the molecule plays the role of efficient cause, and the physical laws that govern the behavior of the atoms plays the role of final cause, reliably “directing” the interaction toward a particular outcome. — Theorem
Again, whatever one might think of as an efficient cause, say the electrons of hydrogen and oxygen, are themselves hylomorphic form/matter composites and it is the form
of the electrons that determines what electrons are like; what a thing is potentially depends on what it is actually like so it depends on the properties (aspects of the form) of the thing. Your last point about the final cause is contingent on the truth of other parts of Aristotle's metaphysical framework, but that is the very thing in question and there little convincing reason to buy into Aristolean metaphysics.
Because denying it leads to absurdity. — Theorem
Aristotle's metaphysics is no help in avoiding absurdity.
Sorry, but you’re just wrong. Aristotle’s definition of matter and form are functional in nature. As such, something counts as matter or form based on the role it plays with respect to something else. We saw this with the H20 example above. Hydrogen and oxygen are matter with respect to H20 because when combined into a particular arrangement/structure they form H20. Hydrogen and oxygen are only potentially H20, they need to be arranged in a certain way to actually become H20. — Theorem
This is a nice sounding story.
This really shouldn’t be controversial and only seems controversial because you’re failing to distinguish between physics and metaphysics (as I mentioned in my first post). Matter and form are metaphysical principles, not empirical entities. To treat them as empirical concepts is to commit a basic category error. — Theorem
Not controversial? I am willing to bet that the majority of philosophers reject Aristotle's metaphysics and they clearly know that metaphysics can do well if it is empirically informed with science.