Aristotle on the Starting-Point of Motion in the Soul

Phronesis 57 (4):358-379 (2012)

Myrna Gabbe
University of Dayton
Abstract In Eudemian Ethics 8.2, Aristotle posits god as the starting-point of non-rational desire (particularly for the naturally fortunate), thought, and deliberation. The questions that dominate the literature are: To what does `god' refer? Is it some divine-like entity in the soul that produces thoughts and desires or is it Aristotle's prime mover? And how does god operate as the starting-point of these activities? By providing a careful reconstruction of the context in which god is evoked, I argue against the popular deflationary reading of `god', showing why Aristotle's prime mover must be the end of these natural activities, and how it serves as a final cause for the rational and desirative parts of the soul. I contend that EE 8.2 provides evidence against the traditional notion that god operates as a final cause by drawing natural potentialities to their completion, and suggests instead that it serves as a final cause by entering into the explanation of natures and natural activities as their ultimate end
Keywords archē   final causation   noetic self-motion   thinking   desire   Aristotle   good fortune   luck   god
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DOI 10.1163/15685284-12341236
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References found in this work BETA

Natural Virtue and Perfect Virtue in Aristotle.Stephen White - 1992 - Proceedings of the Boston Area Colloquium of Ancient Philosophy 8:135-68.
How Are Episodes of Thought Initiated According to Aristotle?K. Corcilius - 2009 - In G. V. Riel & P. DestréE. (eds.), Ancient Perspective on Aristotle’s de Anima. Leuven University Press. pp. 1-17.

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Aquinas and Aristotelians on Whether the Soul is a Group of Powers.Nicholas Kahm - 2017 - History of Philosophy Quarterly 4 (2):115-32.

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