RATIONAL3 - RATIONALE Aristotle's argument for the...

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RATIONALE Aristotle's argument for the existence of a first cause is similar to Plato's. He distinguishes between unmoved movers and intermediate movers (Lambda 7, p. 258). Intermediate movers have no power in themselves to move anything -- there power to move depends entirely on the unmoved mover behind them. Consequently, an infinite regress is impossible, since all of the members would then be intermediate movers, and none would have any power to move. In the Physics, Aristotle offers another argument against infinite regresses. If there were an infinite causal regress, there would exist infinite motion in finite time, which is impossible. This seems to assume that the infinite regress cannot extend infinitely far back into time, and also that it is impossible for there to exist at any finite period of time, any process or activity that involves actual infinity. We might look to empirical physics for support of these propositions. MODALITY In general, Aristotle does not seem to think that causes necessitate their effects. However, the Unmoved Mover is a special case. Since motion is necessary, the Unmoved Mover must exist, and it must at all times produce motion. On page 259, Aristotle makes an important distinction, between necessity-as-compulsion, and simple necessity. Nothing compels the Unmoved Mover to exist or to cause motion -- He is an absolute first principle, unaffected by anything else. However, the unmoved mover exists and acts with necessity, in the sense that it is impossible that
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RATIONAL3 - RATIONALE Aristotle's argument for the...

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