Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(2,051 words)

1. Concept

Until well into the early modern era, theories of matter arose within more general theories of  substance. When considering the nature of the fundamental entities of reality, ancient philosophers raised questions concerning the immutable vehicle of shifting properties and changing substances and reflected on what (if anything) can be known about it. The conception of matter as the basic stuff underlying all things is reflected in the Greek word hyle (Latin materia): literally it means the wood of …

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Snyder, James G. and Meinel, Christoph, “Matter”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 02 April 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_023772>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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