I am trying to create a mind map that shows the shortest possible logical path of necessary entailments from the first principles of reason & nature, leading to the basic principles of scholastic metaphysics (i.e. distinction of act & potency, principle of causality, principle of proportionate causality etc.). At the moment, I am working on identifying a key contradiction by which we can know that form and matter are really distinct.
As of yet, I can demonstrate, in a straight line, that form and matter are real. What I am struggling with, is a simple way to show that they are also really distinct. Thus, I am seeking a contradiction entailed by the idea that form and matter could be one and the same thing.
I believe the path to the disqualification of form-matter identity must begin with knowability of truth, which necessarily entails the principle of noncontradiction, which necessarily entails the fact that "from nothing, nothing comes", which can be construed in the form "no thing can give what it does not have." I take this to be firmly established and necessarily true.
From there, form-matter identity appears to be contradictory, since form and matter have to account for the contrary features that we find in things: i.e. permanence vs. changeability; perfection vs. limitation; unity vs. distinctiveness. These contrary features are opposed to each other as privations. Changeability just is a lack of permanence. Limitation just is the lack of perfection. Distinctiveness just is the lack of unity (or sameness).
As such, the principle by which things exhibit, say, permanence, must ultimately be simply permanence. And permanence, as permanence, cannot be lacking in permanence; and thus cannot "have" any changeability. Now, since permanence does not have changeability; and since "no thing can give what it does not have", that which just is permanence cannot be the principle that also gives things their changeability. To say that permanence can give changeability is thus to say that a thing can give what it does not have, which contradicts the idea that "from nothing, nothing comes", which is to treat nothing as though it were something, which is to violate the law of noncontradiction, which would make the knowability of truth impossible.
What do you think? If we can know anything at all, it seems, then we can know that form and matter are really distinct principles. Is this correct? Is there a simpler way to demonstrate this concept?