Looking at Mariusz Tabaczek’s Book (2019) “Emergence” (Part 10 of 22)

0070 In order to draw some lessons from the congruence between Aristotle’s four causes and Peirce’s category-based nested form, I return to Tabaczek’s mirror.

0071 On the science side, I see one hylomorphe, with two real elements, mathematical and mechanical models and observations and measurements of phenomena.  Each branch of science has its own contiguity, its own disciplinary language.  At the same time, all branches of science rely on modern material and efficient causes.  Disciplinary languages operate to precisely define the causalities expressed by models.  In laboratory sciences, measurements and observations become so formulaic that a practicing scientist will forget that that the lexicon of his discipline is highly specialized.

0072 On the Aristotelian side, I see two hylomorphes, with three real elements, a noumenon, dispositions and powers.  The term, “properties”, is not a real element.  It is the contiguity between the real features of dispositions (which pertain to (what I call) esse_ce and therefore go into the slot for matter) and powers (which pertain to essence and therefore go into the slot for form).


For proper postmodern etiquette, one may say either “dispositions and powers” or “properties”, but not both at the same time.  The same goes for “matter and form” and “substance”.

Did I say that properly?

A noumenon may be a whole, composed of parts, each with its own properties.  The natural philosopher encounters the whole.  The whole has its own dispositions and powers.

0073 Consequently, I suggest that the contiguity on one side of Tabaczek’s mirror reflects the other by serving as the site where causalities are expressed.  On the science side of Tabaczek’s mirror, the contiguity may be rendered in the way of Peirce’s category-based nested form, but the rendering is counter-intuitive, because it exposes formal and final causes that are hidden, like shadows, within truncated material and efficient causalities.  On the natural philosophy side of Tabaczek’s mirror, the contiguity is at home with Peirce’s category-based nested form.  Aristotle’s four causes are intuitive.

0074 Here is a picture.