In this essay, I examine those versions of hylomorphism that attribute to form a very strong explicative role. According to them, form is both the source of new emergent powers and expression of the finalist structure of organisms. The main aim of this essay is to show that these two aspects do not hold up because the form only exercises a structural function, but does not exert an autonomous explanatory function. The form only allows the material components to develop those powers that are not manifest in themselves outside the configuration that form as structure gives them. If the higher faculties of the human mind are really emergent over the neurophysiological ones, hylomorphism cannot explain it. As a consequence, hylomorphism does not have the resources to oppose materialism, on the one hand, and dualism, on the other.
- Form, structure, powers, emergence, finalism, materialism vs. dualism