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The Astrologization Of The Aristotelian Cosmos: Celestial Influences On The Sublunar World In Aristotle, Alexander Of Aphrodisias, And Averroes

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Chapter Summary

One of the radical and long-lived innovations of Aristotle's physical world-picture was the introduction of the fifth substance. At an early phase of his development, Aristotle still followed the Presocratics in believing in the essential material unity of the cosmos, and specifically held that the heavens were fiery. Aristotle posited a strict demarcation of the world into a sublunary and a superlunary realm. This chapter shows how Alexander responded to the theoretical challenge concerning the celestial influences on the sublunary world. To understand why Alexander assigned to the Unmoved Mover functions that Aristotle had not dreamt of attributing to it, the author turns to his cosmology. The chapter finally looks at three central stages in the evolution that the author had dubbed "the astrologization of the Aristotelian cosmos" - Aristotle, Alexander, and Averroes, with some additional light coming from Maimonides.

Keywords: Alexander; Aristotelian cosmos; Aristotle's physical world; Averroes; celestial influences; Maimonides; Presocratics; sublunary world

10.1163/ej.9789004173767.i-326.72
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