aristotles prime mover


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Aristotles Prime Mover
Aristotle's Prime Mover:
TRANSIENT The world is transient; it is constantly changing
If nothing acted on A, then it would stay the same and not move. So if A is moving it
must be being moved by B, which in turn is being moved by C, and so on.
MOVEMENT Aristotle posits that all movement (not just motion but all kinds of
change) has a mover
CHANGE The concept of movement or change is eternal - there cannot be a first or
last change. For example, we can observe movement in `the heavens' (in space) with no
apparent beginning or end.
UNMOVED MOVER Aristotle argued that this eternal movement points to a mover
that does not move itself. It cannot be the efficient cause of movement because an
efficient causer would move itself.
Newton's third law of motion: `action and reaction are equal and opposite'
Thus Aristotle argues that the unmoved mover or Prime Mover must be a final cause.
The Prime Mover causes movement as the object of desire and love.
FINAL CAUSE OF MOVEMENT For Aristotle, the final cause of movement is a love
and desire for God. God is perfection, everything wants to imitate perfection, and
therefore everyone is drawn to it ­ creating movement without moving itself.
GOD AS THE PRIME MOVER God exists necessarily ­ he does not depend on anything
else for his existence, and cannot be thought of as not existing. He never changes
or has the potential to change, he is eternal. Since God cannot create movement by
physical means, he must instead create movement by drawing things to himself.
BADNESS Aristotle defined badness or evil as the absence of actuality that God most
perfectly has; a lack of something that ought to be there. Thus there is no defect in
something that exists necessarily.
IMMATERIAL The Prime Mover is immaterial. Matter is capable of being acted on thus
has the potential to change. God is immaterial and is incapable of performing a physical
action. The activity of God therefore must be spiritual and intellectual - thought.

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THOUGHT God only thinks about himself ­ nothing else is a fit subject. Thus God only
knows himself and remains eternally unaware of our existence and the physical world
in which we exist.…read more


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