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Is Aristotle's Cosmology And Metaphysics Compatible With The Christian Concept Of Creation?

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Chapter Summary

Aristotle conceived the cosmos as ungenerated, indestructible, and without beginning or end. When Christian theologians in Middle Ages began to use Aristotle’s philosophy his cosmology presented them with a problem, because according to Christian revelation the cosmos has been created by God and will be destroyed at the end of time. This chapter shows that Aristotle’s conception of cosmos not only does not simply contradict the conception of creation but also prepares it and can lead to it. In De Caelo 1 and 2 Aristotle deals with material bodies which compose the whole cosmos and posits that in contrast to the sublunar world, which is composed by four elements, the supralunar heavenly spheres consist of a fifth element. Whereas the four sublunar elements have rectilinear movements upward and downward, the fifth element, the so-called ether, is endowed with circular motion. The chapter examines first Aristotle’s main thought in this treatise.

Keywords: Aristotle’s cosmology; Christian revelation; conception of creation; De Caelo; fifth element; four elements; Metaphysics; rectilinear movements



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