The implications of unmoved mover within Aristotle’s Metaphysics
The implications of unmoved mover within Aristotle’s Metaphysics
The first book of Aristotle’s works on logic is known as the Categories. This book tends to list the grouping into which objects naturally fall. According to Aristotle, by grouping objects, people can know them fully. These categories include the substance, quantity, quality, place, time, relation, state, position, action and affection. The substances are things such as man and horse, quantity are terms that relate to the cubits and feet. The term quality is for attributes such as white.
According Aristotle, state is things such as armed while action is things such as to cut. Relations are things such as double and half. Place is like in the market and time is term that relates to yesterday and last year. Lastly, affection is to be affect by something and they are things such as to be cut. Substance is considered to be crucial, since all the other properties are attributed to it. According to Aristotle, substance is not mass like it is known to be today but it is a medium-sized objects such as man, trees and the horse (Aristotle 1b-2a).
According to Aristotle, when everything else is stripped off nothing remains. He was after the basic stuff that lies behind all other properties since he had inherited this problem from Plato who had struggled with the same problem. Due to this problem, Aristotle gave man and horse as examples of substances which can either big or small according to quantity and either brown or white according to quality. When the ‘manness’ of the man is removed from the man, he is left with a pure substrate which is something that has no property.
Aristotle’s definition of matter is something that can be moved and it is connected to the potential or power to become some sort of thing which when given form can become an actual object of a particular kind. This portion of metaphysics is called hylomorphism since it claims that all objects are a combination of matter and form known as hule and morphe in Greek respectively. Aristotle was also concerned with question of pure form which is form that as not been combined with matter.
He reasoned that pure form is pure actually and it is unmovable and since movement is a form of movement, then pure form is unmoved mover. And according Aristotle, this was the definition of God which is pure actuality that turns formless matter into actual objects but never moved or changed itself (Aristotle 1029a) Why does he construct the idea? Aristotle had studied in the Plato’s academy in Athens for twenty years. His metaphysics included the natural theology of God and the ordered structure of the world.
Aristotle’s theory of form or ideas was from observations about particular objects and cases and reasoning from his understanding of the world and reality. He followed an inductive method in his emphasis of the diversity of the world. He also used the unified theory approach that would lead him to scholasticism. According to Aristotle, reality consisted in a hierarchy of being of particular objects in the world. Stones, trees, animals and people were building blocks of form. He inherited from the Empedocles the ancient concept that the basic elements that are combined to form the world were water, air, fire and the earth.
This point out that matter is an unmoved mover and therefore it explains the existence of God (Anthony A Concise Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion). Aristotle emphasized that there are unifying system of particulars within the world and form amounts to the sum of the characteristics of the species to which particular things belong. He concludes that there is a prime mover that is unmoved who is God or the mind. He claims that God is perfect and is one which affirms that God sets in motion are one. According to Aristotle’s universe, there is a divine orderedness and logic that embodies diversity.
In the book categories, Aristotle explains the natural theology and explains the existence of the prime unmoved who is the mind. The reason of this metaphysics is that Aristotle perceives the world as eternal (Anthony A Concise Encyclopedia of the Philosophy of Religion). What is the overall function of it? He says that human beings animals reason almost the same way. This is because both man and animals are uniform have some little of connection experience, the difference is that man live by art and reasoning while animals live by appearances and memories.
Animals are born with a faculty of sensation, and from sensation memory is produced in some of them, though not in others (Green, Religion and Epistemology). He also analyses that knowledge is wisdom and says that a wise man knows all things as much as possible and although he has no knowledge of them in detail. He further says that he who can learn things that are difficult that are not easy for man to know then that is a wise person. He also says that the person that is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge; and that of the sciences.
Also, that which is desirable on its own account and for the sake of knowing it is more of the nature of Wisdom than that which is desirable on account of its results, and the superior science is more of the nature of Wisdom than the ancillary; for the wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him. He then adds that of all these characteristics that of knowing all things must belong to him who has in the highest degree universal knowledge; for he knows in a sense all the instances that fall under the universal (Green, Religion and Epistemology).
He argues that we have to acquire knowledge of the original causes and causes are spoken of in four senses. The rest of the information acquired from other sources then that is not knowledge because you got it from someone else or from some other sources. The essence, the matter or substratum, source of the change, the purpose and the good ( Plantinga Early Psychological Thought). How does he solve the infinite regression and self predication?
All the regressions were grouped together under the Title Organon meaning Instrument and regarded them as comprising his logical works: he argues that the Organon reflects a much later controversy about whether logic is a part of philosophy or merely as a tool used by philosophy. On the interpretation, Aristotle argues that a single assertion must always either affirm or deny a single predicate of a single subject and therefore he does not recognize sentential compounds, such as conjunctions and disjunctions, as single assertions, with no more intrinsic unity than the sequence of sentences in a lengthy account .
On the subjects and predicates of assertions he terms them as “term” which is meant to either represent an individual such as Socrates, Plato or universals such as human, horse, animal, white. , but predicates can only be universals. Universal terms are those which can properly serve as predicates, while particular terms are those which cannot. Predication for Aristotle is as much a matter of metaphysics as a matter of grammar. The reason that the term Socrates is an individual term and not a universal is that the entity which it designates is an individual, not a universal.
What makes white and human universal terms is that they both designate universals ( Plantinga Religion and Epistemology). How is the unmoved mover used in the philosophy of the following philosophers: Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, William of Cobham, Avicenna, Maimondes. Tie Each philosopher to Aristotle Augustine He emerged as a rigorous defender of the Christian faith. Augustine argued that Faith involves a commitment to believe in a God, to believe God, and to believe in God.
He further argues concerning the Christian doctrine, that Christian teachers ought to apply the pagan thinking when it comes to scripture interpretation. This should be so since pagan science studies what is eternal and unchanging hence can be used appropriately to clarify and illuminate Christian faith. He says that logic, history and natural sciences can be used to clarify strange symbols in the Scriptures. This case is similar to Aristotle who followed an inductive method as well as formulating a rigorous formal deductive logic.
He becomes very careful to avoid pagan learning. He realized and argued that the church is indeed the final arbiter of what cannot be demonstrated (Alston History of Philosophy of Religion) Thomas Aquinas This philosopher is known to have worked out the highly articulated theory of theological reasoning. He argued that any person’s faith in eternal salvation indicates that people have theological truths that exceed human reason (Alston History of Philosophy of Religion). He said that something can be true for faith and false in philosophy but cannot be the other way round.
He claims that there’s no one who can believe by faith and at the same time Know by rational demonstration the very same truth. This is in line with Aristotle’s argument of divine ‘ordered ness’ and coherence that embodies diversity. According to Aristotle he sets out this philosophy in categories mainly in metaphysics. Aquinas further argues that dogmatic theology is a genuine science though not based on natural experience and reason, while philosophical theology makes demonstrations using the articles of faith as its principles.
He says that people come to know the truths of faith through the virtue of wisdom, which is of the Holy spirit (Anthony et al Aristotle aseity) William of Ockham This person radicalized the restrictions of the people’s knowledge of God. He desired to preserve divine freedom and omnipotence and denied the necessity in the scope of Scientific findings. He argued that the purity of Christian faith was contaminated by the Greek metaphysics. He went a head to reject the possibility that was implored that science can verify any necessity, but can only demonstrate the implications of terms, premises, and definitions.
He said that God can be known only through faith. Avicenna He argued that the religion comprises an area of truth that is not much different from philosophy. This he built based on his philosophical study of Aristotle and Plotinus coupled with his theology in Islam. He said that religion is the highest form of life and presents the immortality of human souls, this was contrary to what Aristotle taught that “the agent intellect was one in all persons, the unique potential intellect of each person, illuminated by the agent intellect, can survive death”.
According to Aristotle however, his theary of definitions cohere with his view of the truth (Anthony et al Aristotle Aseity). Maimmondes The philosopher is well known for his radical development of negative theology by arguing that there is no positive essential attributes that may be predicated of God. He argues that God does not posses anything superadded to his essence, and his essence includes all his perfections (Anthony et al Aristotle Aseity).
He criticizes Aristotle’s argument of unmoved mover, he contradicts Aristotle’s assumption that the generation of the world as a whole resembles the generation of individual things that are within it (69-92). He argues that God is not pure hence cannot be the source of movement, this is contrary to Aristotle’s view who argued that pure form must be the source of movement of which is to him it was God himself, who is a pure actuality that turns formless matter into actual objects but never moves or changes (81-83).
Conclusion According to Aristotle since matter is defined as that thing which can be moved, then he summarizes that pure form must be immovable. All his science concerning metaphysics was aimed at constructing a unified world through human beings. His metaphysics included what is called Natural theology of God and ordered partly the structure of the world. Aristotle puts a lot of emphasis on the prime mover who is unmoved and this according to him is God. He claims that other objects apart from God are all dependent on the cause outside themselves.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 28 November 2016
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