Strengths and weaknesses of Aristotle's Prime Mover Watch

PalindromeGirl
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I'm in desperate need of some help! I'm writing an exam answer on the Prime Mover and the strengths and weaknesses of this idea. So far for strengths I have said that it mirrors the idea of God, it is impartial and unchanging and is a logical and simple theory. Do these make sense in context, are there any more strengths and what on earth do I put for weaknesses?! My teacher hasn't taught us any, so I'm at a complete loss right now. I know A-Levels are about independent research but I have googled it a ridiculous amount of times without luck. Please help!
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Gregorius
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(Original post by PalindromeGirl)
I'm in desperate need of some help! I'm writing an exam answer on the Prime Mover and the strengths and weaknesses of this idea. So far for strengths I have said that it mirrors the idea of God, it is impartial and unchanging and is a logical and simple theory. Do these make sense in context, are there any more strengths and what on earth do I put for weaknesses?! My teacher hasn't taught us any, so I'm at a complete loss right now. I know A-Levels are about independent research but I have googled it a ridiculous amount of times without luck. Please help!
A good strategy for an essay like this would be to lay out the structure of Aristotle's argument as he gives it and then comment on the its strengths and weaknesses as an argument. I suggest this as many modern treatments of Aristotle misunderstand what he was arguing, having simply not got their heads around the full implications of the theory of act and potency. If you can lay your hands on a copy of Christopher Shields's "Aristotle", section 5.5 has a very useful summary.
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PalindromeGirl
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(Original post by Gregorius)
A good strategy for an essay like this would be to lay out the structure of Aristotle's argument as he gives it and then comment on the its strengths and weaknesses as an argument. I suggest this as many modern treatments of Aristotle misunderstand what he was arguing, having simply not got their heads around the full implications of the theory of act and potency. If you can lay your hands on a copy of Christopher Shields's "Aristotle", section 5.5 has a very useful summary.
Thanks for the reply! I shall have a look for that. I've kind of already written it in that style but good to know that its the right way to go about answering it
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Gregorius
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(Original post by PalindromeGirl)
Thanks for the reply! I shall have a look for that. I've kind of already written it in that style but good to know that its the right way to go about answering it
I should add that the greatest of Aristotle's commentators, Thomas Aquinas, based the first of his "five ways" to demonstrate the existence of God on Aristotle's argument to the prime mover. Apparently because Aquinas explicitly brings in the idea of God to the argument, this has generated much more commentary than the original argument! First port of call for looking up this connection are the works of Edward Feser (his "Aquinas" is the best introduction to the latter's works; and his blog often contains some sophisticated yet accessible material on stuff like this).

If you really want to dive in, Aquinas's commentaries on the Physics and the Metaphysics are available online!
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