Explain Aristotle’s understanding of the Prime Mover Essay Essay

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Explain Aristotle’s apprehension of the Prime Mover ( 25 Markss ) In Aristotle’s book the Metaphysics. he calls the cause of all motion the Prime Mover ( P. M ) . The Prime Mover to Aristotle is the first of all substances. the necessary first beginnings of motion which itself is unaffected. It is a being which is ageless. and in Metaphysics Aristotle besides calls this being ‘God’ . However. before he came to cognize the being of the P. M he foremost started detecting the changeless alterations around him. which led him to oppugn the being and the intent of the universe. existence and the things around us. He examined that everything that exists was in a lasting province of ‘movement’ or ‘motion’ . By ‘motion’ Aristotle was associating it to the Grecian word ‘motus’ which refers to alter. He noticed that everything in the existence is in a province of alteration. for illustration. the conditions and seasons are ever altering. Even the human organic structure is traveling through the procedure of alteration every individual twenty-four hours. Everyday the organic structure alterations. we grow old and age. we lose hair and tegument cells. This led Aristotle to detect four things:

1 ) The physical universe was invariably in a province of gesture and alteration.
2 ) The planets seemed to be traveling everlastingly.
3 ) Change or gesture is ever caused by something.
4 ) Objects in the physical universe were in a province of actuality and potency.


Summarizing up from these four points Aristotle came to a decision that something must be which causes the gesture and alteration to happen without being moved itself and the ‘uncaused change’ must be ageless. Aristotle reached this decision by detecting that if something can alter. it exists in one ‘actual’ province and has the ‘potential’ to go another province. for illustration. an existent kid is potentially an grownup and a cow in a field is potentially a piece of joint beef. He realised that if things come to existence they must be caused to be by something else and if something is capable of alteration that means it is potentially something else. He argued that behind every motion there must be a concatenation of events that brought about the motion that we see taking topographic point. such as A to B to C and so on.

However. he stated that this concatenation of events must take back to something which moves it but does non travel itself. Therefore the ‘uncaused cause’ must be different and separate from the remainder of the concatenation inorder to get down the whole procedure. So harmonizing to Aristotle the ageless cause of gesture is the Prime Mover. The Prime Mover causes the motion of other things. non as an efficient cause. but as a concluding cause. In other words. it does non get down off the motion by giving it some sort of push. but it is the telos of the motion. This is of import for Aristotle. because he thought that an effectual cause. giving a push. would impact the P. M by the act of forcing and this could non go on because he thought that it would alter the P. M’s cognition. Aristotle believed the Prime Mover is the concluding end of motion that is why it causes things to travel by attractive force in much the same manner that a disk of milk attracts a cat. The milk attracts the cat but can non be said to be changed in the procedure.

This is why Aristotle believed that the P. M is the beginning of all gesture. To Aristotle the P. M is God ( for this essay I will be mentioning to God as ‘He’ ) . Aristotle believed that God exists needfully. which means that God does non depend on anything else for it’s being and is non capable of alteration because He is pure actuality by nature and its nature is good. He ne’er changes or has any possible to alter and Aristotle’s book ‘Metaphysics’ he states that God is ‘a populating being. ageless. most goods…’ hence He ne’er begins and ne’er terminals. and so is ageless. Aristotle argued that the P. M had to be immaterial intending it could non be made of any sort of material because affair is possible to alter. So since it is immaterial. it can non execute any sort of physical. bodily action. therefore the activity of the P. M must be strictly religious and rational. Aristotle besides concluded that God merely thinks about himself ; so he does non cognize about our physical universe. he does non hold a program for us and he is non affected by us because if He was so it would intend that God alterations. because his knowlege would alter.

He even defines God as ‘thought of thought’ . Overall Aristotle’s apprehension of the Prime Mover is that He is God. the cause of all gesture and in his book the ‘Metaphysics’ he considers God as a leader and in the order of the existence. How far is Aristotle’s construct of the Prime Mover consistent with the scriptural construct of God? ( 10 ) ( AO2 ) Aristotle’s construct of the Prime Mover and the scriptural ( Judeo-christian ) construct of God is in many ways really similar. However. they are besides really different and varied. Yet both Aristotle’s Prime Mover and the scriptural God portion the same foundations- they are both ageless and responsible for alteration in the universe. Judeo-christian God creates the existence from nil ( creatio ex nihilo ) and Aristotle argued that nil existed before the Prime Mover started the concatenation of causes. Besides the Judeo-christian God is an intelligent interior decorator who crafts a purposeful universe ( e. g. the intent of the stars = visible radiation ) .

Aristotle besides believed that the existence was a purposeful ( telelogical ) topographic point: single objects have a ‘telos’ ( e. g. chairs = sitting ) and the ultimate Final Cause is the Prime Mover. Another similarity between the two is that the Judeo-christian God is immaterial because creative activity is an ‘act of will’ and God creates through his word ( ‘Let at that place be light’ ) or spirit. Aristotle’s Prime Mover is besides seen as immaterial. It is a religious energy and non made of the same physical stuffs as the stuff universe. Last. the Judeo-christian God is seen in Genesis 1 as a transcendent God. It is the cosmic Godhead who is removed from the existence. It is an impersonal being. Aristotl’s Prime Mover is besides surpassing and immaterial. It ‘moves’ things non throught engagement with them but through ‘attracting’ them. However. they are in many ways different such as the Judeo-christian position of God is that He is involved with His creative activity and is personal. For illustration. the scriptural God answers supplications.

Whereas the Prime Mover is the opposite because it is a necessary being but one who does non in any manner interact and act in the universe. It is a impersonal being. Besides the Judeo-christian God is non wholly immaterial. In Genesis 3. God ‘walks’ in the Garden of Eden and in the New Testament. God becomes adult male in the human signifier of Jesus. This belief is known as the embodiment ( ‘God becomes flesh’ ) . Jesus walks on the Earth and experiences pain. enticement and finally dies. This is really different to the thought of Aristotle’s Prime Mover who is a ‘spiritual’ and ‘immaterial’ being. So overall I think that Aristotle’s Prime Mover and the scriptural God are the same because they portion the same features and the ground why is because the Prime Mover thought influenced mediaeval believing about the nature of God.

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