Thomistic Hylomorphism and Philosophy of Mind and Philosophy of Religion


Correspondence: Philosophy Department, Benedictine College, 1020 North Second Street, Atchison, KS 66002, USA. Email:


Contemporary philosophers of mind tend to accept either some version of dualism or physicalism when considering the mind–body problem. Likewise, recent philosophers of religion typically assume that we must work within these two categories when considering problems related to the possibility of bodily resurrection. Recently, some philosophers have reintroduced the Thomistic version of hylomorphism. In this article, we will consider the distinctive doctrines of Thomistic hylomorphism and how they can be used to address concerns about both the mind–body problem and the possibility of resurrection. We will see that hylomorphism allows for a novel version of emergent property dualism that is both metaphysically plausible and allows us to recognize the irreducibility of mental states and the possibility of resurrection without ignoring the fact of human embodiment. We will also discuss the currently lively debate among Thomistic hylomorphists who advocate opposed corruptionist and survivalist versions of the afterlife.