Chapter

The God of the Self‐Movers

Norman Kretzmann

in The Metaphysics of Theism

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780199246533
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191597886 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019924653X.003.0003
 The God of the Self‐Movers

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Unlike anti‐evidentialism, rational theism requires one to provide philosophically good evidence, on the basis of which one can rationally believe that God exists. Aquinas leads us to expect a posteriori demonstration of God's existence in which he argues that sense‐perceptible things, events, or states of affairs cannot be satisfactorily explained otherwise than on the basis of the existence of a being that is plausibly identifiable as God. Aquinas's five arguments for the existence of God are examined, two of them in detail, (ascribed to Aristotle's Physics and Metaphysics) in which Aristotle undertakes to prove God's existence on the basis of motion. The analysis develops the hypothesis that motion is to be explained in terms of self‐movers, and that all motion is ultimately to be explained in terms of a cosmic first self‐mover and a separated, altogether immovable first mover.

Keywords: anti‐evidentialism; Aquinas; Aristotle; God; God's existence; immovable mover; metaphysics; motion; natural theology; physics; prime mover; self‐movers

Chapter.  13927 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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