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Title: What is a Dead Body?
Subtitle: Richard of Mediavilla and Dietrich of Freiberg on a Metaphysical Puzzle
Author(s): PERLER, Dominik
Journal: Recherches de Théologie et Philosophie Médiévales
Volume: 82    Issue: 1   Date: 2015   
Pages: 61-87
DOI: 10.2143/RTPM.82.1.3080625

Abstract :
Late medieval authors were confronted with two conflicting views when they examined the status of a dead body: Christian doctrine took it to be identical with the preceding living body, whereas Aristotelian doctrine considered it to be utterly different. This paper discusses two attempts to resolve the conflict. Richard of Mediavilla claimed that there is identity because of the form of corporeality the two bodies have in common, but also difference because of all the other forms that are missing in the dead body. Dietrich of Freiberg accepted no special form of corporeality but pointed out that there is a natural similarity between the substantial form in the dead body and the form in the preceding living body. The paper discusses these metaphysical models, emphasizing that both led to a transformation of traditional hylomorphism.

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