In On The Heavens, Aristotle described there are multiple unmoved movers in different celestial spheres as the final causes of celestial movements, however, in the Physics, Aristotle concluded there is one unmoved mover who caused all the motions in the universe. Are these accounts contradictory?

  • One can conceive there're 2 layers governing celestial movements of all different celestial spheres metaphysically. The final causes of the 1st layer can be all caused by a single first cause of the 2nd final layer... May 21 at 4:10
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    See Met, Bk Lambda, Ch.8, 1073-on: "And if one were not to add to the moon and to the sun the movements we mentioned, all the spheres will be forty-nine in number. Let this then be taken as the number of the spheres, so that the unmovable substances and principles may reasonably be taken as just so many; the assertion of necessity must be left to more powerful thinkers." See laso Ph.Merlan, ARISTOTLE'S UNMOVED MOVERS (1946). May 21 at 8:00
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  • @DoubleKnot Would that not imply that first mover put those second movers into place? Then how could they be unmoved (uncreated and never potential)? Even if they are temporally coextensive, the one is more necessary than the others, and they have to have been potential within it. May 21 at 20:21
  • @hide_in_plain_sight thx for your critique. I can interpret an unmoved mover relative to its celestial sphere, all text meaning is contextual (not absolute) and hermeneutic under many modern philosophy of language POVs. So if one understand this way, then suddenly the above sentences in 2 different texts by a same author makes sense and consistent. Aristotle should be viewed as wise enough to not to cause such a naive and apparent self-contradiction... May 22 at 22:13

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