Why Does Earth Move to the Center? An Examination of Some Explanatory Strategies in Aristotle's Cosmology

In Alan C. Bowen & Christian Wildberg (eds.), New Perspectives on Aristotle's De Caelo. Brill. 1--119 (2009)
Abstract
How, and why, does Earth (the element) move to the centre of Aristotle's Universe? In this paper, I argue that we cannot understand why it does so by reference merely to the nature of Earth, or the attractive force of the Centre. Rather, we have to understand the role that Earth plays in the cosmic order. Thus, in Aristotle, the behaviour of the elements is explained as one explains the function of organisms in a living organism.
Keywords Aristotle  De Caelo  natural motion  natural place  Totality
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