Matter and Philosophy
The term "matter" was probably developed by Aristotle. Matter (materia) is Latin semantic borrowing from the Greek "güle" (ὕλη), which means "timber for building". Aristotle was from the Greek city of Stagira on the border with Macedonia, which supplied Greece with timber for the construction of ships.
According to Aristotle nothing arises from nothing, therefore every occurrence and every change requires the presence of a certain substrate, which is changing to lose some properties and acquire new ones. A striking example is a statue: a boulder of copper in the hands of a skilled artist turns into a statue; and copper is that natural material, a substrate that loses the shape of a boulder and takes the shape of a statue.
Matter and Physics
According to the special theory of relativity, both matter and radiation are but special forms of distributed energy, ponderable mass losing its isolation and appearing as a special form of energy.
- Albert Einstein, 1920