I wonder (once more) about Aristotle form and the relation between universal concept of color and nominalism of colored things, in the light of quantum mechanics.

Based on how we understand e.g. the electron, there is really not much of a structure of to describe. Electrons cannot themselves possess color for instance, since their change from one state to another within the atom is the process which creates light.

This implies that the color yellow is the light of a certain wavelength emitted when the electron jumps within an atom (or collide with another subatomic particle) and yellow things are things which consist of such atoms. Light can be created in other ways too, but none can be used to illuminate an electron, and there are corresponding explanations for things with looks yellow for other reasons, i.e. a similar argument as above can be applied to other types of light, both in connection with emitting and absorbing light, and both for reflective surfaces and body color.

There doesn´t seem to be any form left to describe on the microscopic level, and it is difficult to see any difference between an electron generating light in general and a certain electron generating light.

This viewpoint seems to agree with Aristotle in the sense that the universal color are “identical in each of its instances “as pointed out in Wikipedia (Aristotle’s theory of universals).

In other words, do quantum mechanics or - more generally - a microscopic description deconstruct the Aristotle form and the difference between universalism and nominalism, i.e. make them trivially identical?

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    But form is not (only) "internal structure" : form and essence and cause are strictly connected in A's Metaphysics: "what we seek is the cause, i.e., the form, by reason of which the matter is some definite thing; and this is the substance of the thing” (1041b6–9) and “the primary cause of its being” (1041b27). This is way it is not easy to "fit" Aristotelian concepts and the modern "structural" (i.e. matter and motion) point of view. Jan 23, 2017 at 7:18
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    The example does not seem to work because Aristotle does not identify essence with color. (if you think he does, find a reference for that). Also, there's a lot of spilled ink up (virtual ink) in here which seems sciency but I don't see why it's relevant. (from "Based on ..." down to "generating light", which btw oddly doesn't include photons).
    – virmaior
    Jan 23, 2017 at 8:46
  • Thanks. I appreciate your point. However, it raises another issue: Is there nothing that has survived from antiquity via e.g. Thomas Aquinas – medieval Christianity – modern Christianity – modern philosophy and can be assessed with our modern concepts. Are all of the old ideas exclusively tools for historians, only accessible through illusive allegories, none to be taken too seriously? Jan 23, 2017 at 8:47
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    It's not clear from your example that you grasp Aristotle's metaphysics well enough to draw the conclusion that nothing ... has survived from antiquity At a minimum, virtue ethics is a very life field with largely Aristotelian inspiration, and hylomorphism is not completely dead (though the modern use of the term in metaphysics is not the same as Aristotle's).
    – virmaior
    Jan 23, 2017 at 8:48
  • @virmaior This is my reference and I admit I should perhaps have settled for universalism and not "form": “Furthermore, Aristotle said that a universal is identical in each of its instances. So all red things are similar in that there is the same universal, redness, in each thing. There is no Platonic Form of Redness, standing apart from all red things; instead, each red thing has a copy of the same property, redness.”(Wikipedia: Aristotle's theory of universals) I try to minimize formulas and physical jargon and therefore “light” is better than photons, but electrons must be mentioned. Jan 23, 2017 at 16:02


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