Aristotle on Divine and Human Contemplation


Aristotle’s theory of human happiness in the Nicomachean Ethics explicitly depends on the claim that contemplation (theôria) is peculiar to human beings, whether it is our function or only part of it. But there is a notorious problem: Aristotle says that divine beings also contemplate. Various solutions have been proposed, but each has difficulties. Drawing on an analysis of what divine contemplation involves according to Aristotle, I identify an assumption common to all of these proposals and argue for rejecting it. This allows a straightforward solution to the problem and there is evidence that Aristotle would have adopted it.


Added to PP

517 (#17,936)

6 months
76 (#9,521)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Aristotle's Four Causes of Action.Bryan C. Reece - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):213-227.

Add more references

Similar books and articles

The God of Metaphysics as a Way of Life in Aristotle.Francisco J. Gonzalez - 2018 - Proceedings of the XXIII World Congress of Philosophy 2 (2):133-136.
Aristotle's Theology.Stephen Menn - 2012 - In Christopher Shields (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Aristotle. Oup Usa. pp. 422.
Divine and Human Happiness in Nicomachean Ethics.Stephen S. Bush - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (1):49-75.
Human Thinking and the Active Intellect in Aristotle.Daren Mathew Jonescu - 2000 - Dissertation, Mcmaster University (Canada)
Can Aristotle's Prime Mover Be a Physical Cause?Henning Tegtmeyer - 2015 - Rivista di Filosofia Neoscolastica 107 (4):767-782.
The Limits of Eudaimonia in the Nicomachean Ethics.Schwartz Daniel - 2016 - Journal of Greco-Roman Studies 55 (3):35-52.
Aristotle and the Soul Problem in Thirteenth Century.Ling Gao - 2007 - Philosophy and Culture 34 (5):21-36.