The Virtue Of God In Aristotle

Philosophy and Theology 16 (1):3-23 (2004)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to show that for Aristotle god is, and is not, virtuous. I consider first the arguments of the EN to show that the gods do not have virtue---beginning with an account of the divisions of the faculties of soul, and of the virtues that belong to those divisions. These arguments suggest that nous is a divine virtue, and so in the second section I consider nous, as a faculty of soul and as a virtue, and examine the differences between nous as a human virtue, and nous as a virtue which is also a substance, and with which the first divine principle is identified. In the third and final section I ask what kind of difference Aristotle takes the difference between human and divine nous to be---and in particular whether this is a difference in kind or in degree.

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Marguerite Deslauriers
McGill University

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