Aristotle East and West: Metaphysics and the Division of by David Bradshaw

By David Bradshaw

Winner of the magazine of the historical past of Ideas's Morris D. Forkosch prize This ebook lines the improvement thought of God and the connection among God's being and task from Aristotle, in the course of the pagan Neoplatonists, to thinkers similar to Augustine, Boethius, and Aquinas (in the West) and Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas (in the East). The resulst is a comparative background of philosophical suggestion within the halves of Christendom, offering a philosophical backdrop to the schism among the japanese and Western church buildings.

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5 that things necessary in the strictest sense, and so eternal and immovable, are not subject to anything compulsory or contrary to their nature (1015b9–15). Apparently Aristotle wishes us to understand that to completely fulfill one’s own nature simply is to exist well. The argument could thus stand as an epitome of his ethical naturalism. Yet it scarcely provides independent grounds for that naturalism; after all, whether the Mover’s nature is itself good – so that to fulfill it is good simpliciter, and not merely good for the Mover – is surely a question that can sensibly be asked.

38 Ross’s note on the passage makes a similar criticism. chap t e r 2 The Prime Mover Up to this point we have traced two broad strands in the development of Aristotle’s thought on energeia. Both take their beginning from his early use of the term to mean the active exercise of a capacity as distinct from mere possession of that capacity. In one strand we find Aristotle purifying energeia from its early associations with motion or change (k©nhsiv), distinguishing it as that type of activity that contains its own end and hence is not constrained to unfold through a temporal process.

In order to explain how it is possible to move without being moved, Aristotle cites the 2 The principle that nothing without magnitude is movable is stated twice in Phys. viii (257a33–b1, 267a22–23) and argued in Phys. 4. The Prime Mover 27 case of objects of thought and desire, which clearly do just that. He adds that the primary object of thought and the primary object of desire are the same: primary simple substance existing in actuality (¡ oÉs©a prÛth ¡ ‰pl¦ kaª katì –n”rgeian, 1072a31–32).

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