The Power of the Beloved: Aristotle on the Unmoved Mover


in Eros Unveiled

Published in print April 1996 | ISBN: 9780198267669
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191683336 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

The Power of the Beloved: Aristotle on the Unmoved Mover

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This chapter examines whether the sun, moon, stars, and planets are alive, and whether one needs to attribute consciousness to them. That may seem a rather odd and antiquated question to ask; but it is not really any more odd as a question now than it was in the days of Aristotle and of St Thomas Aquinas, when it was a real issue and much ink was spilt on the subject. Their texts serve as the chapter's starting point. Aristotle was, of course, keenly interested in biology and an expert on the behaviour of animals and on the structure and functions of their parts. It seems unlikely that the observations available in the field of astronomy would offer much to suggest an analogy between the behaviour or the bodily structure of the heavenly bodies and that of familiar living organisms on Earth.

Keywords: sun; moon; stars; planets; Aristotle; St Thomas Aquinas; biology; astronomy; behavior; Earth

Chapter.  9661 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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