Strength and weaknesses of the Demiurge and the prime mover?

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Iqra_hussain216
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And the difference between them both?
I don’t really understand the point of the prime mover if everything already exists and they’re simply attracted to the prime mover because what initially created everything and how can the prime mover be omnipotent if everything’s coming to itself rather than it creating or providing anything?

And the Demiurge, how did it crest everything through the materials it was given and who gave those materials to Demiurge for this creation to happen in the first place?
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jimbleby
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Just to help explain Aristotle's Prime Mover. The point of it is that Aristotle is trying to explain why there is motion and change in the universe.

Look around you - everything is in motion. Trees grow from seeds, an arrow hits a bullseye, the sun moves through the sky. Why?

Aristotle says everything has a telos or "purpose/goal" which it is ultimately heading toward. This teleological explanation is key to Aristotle's philosophy. It is how he describes the universe operating. But he thinks there must be some ultimate purpose to all things, which is the Prime Mover. There must be an ultimate purpose because there can't be an endless chain of purpose.

Think of it like this: the purpose of a seed is to grow into a tree, then you come along and chop the tree down and now the purpose of the tree is to be wood to make a fence, and the purpose of fence is to protect your garden etc etc. This can't go on forever, because then there would be no ultimate point. So there must be an ultimate purpose which doesn't itself have a purpose. That is the Prime Mover.
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GlenCacao
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I'll try to help, but I don't have my books on me and haven't been revising as much as
I should.

I can't help with the Demiurge stuff as I was never taught it in lesson and only remember seeing
one brief paragraph about it in the revision guide but, with the prime mover, from what I remember,
it's the Perfect form of everything since it's the final of Aristotle's 4 causes (everything's telos).
Sort of like the Form of Forms (which is a weakness, because how can there be 2 perfect forms of things,
unless you believe that the Prime Mover is the World of Forms itself).

Since it's Perfect, everything it does is perfect and cannot change i.e. when thinking, it can only think
about itself since it's the only Perfect thing (if that makes sense), so it's transcendent
from the world. Using Aristotle's philosophy, one opinion you could
say that the Material World moves towards the PM because our immortal
souls recognise it from before.

I have the sneaking suspicion that I didn't answer your question enough, so I'm leaving
some links that might clear it up a bit better:
https://getrevising.co.uk/diagrams/aristotles-prime-mover
https://getrevising.co.uk/diagrams/aristotle_26
https://getrevising.co.uk/diagrams/plato-77
Last edited by GlenCacao; 1 year ago
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Iqra_hussain216
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Thank you so much!
I get that now- so the Prime mover simply allows the change in motion to happen?
But I’m still unsure of the Demiurge
I’ll read through those links, thank you!
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jimbleby
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Hi, Glen - because other students might be reading this, I just want to flag something up. You seem to be mixing up Plato and Aristotle. The Prime Mover is from Aristotle's philosophy. Plato did not have "Four Causes", that is Aristotle (see here). You say "Plato believed that we have a priori knowledge of the Forms", which is true (but not what Aristotle said). But you go on to say "so I guess you could say that the Material World moves toward the PM because our immortal souls recognise it from before", which is talking about Aristotle. Only Aristotle was interested in the material world - Plato didn't think we could learn anything from it.

Plato taught Aristotle, but Aristotle rejected Plato's teaching and the two are considered rival philosophers. Make sure you keep them distinct in essays.
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GlenCacao
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(Original post by jimbleby)
Hi, Glen - because other students might be reading this, I just want to flag something up. You seem to be mixing up Plato and Aristotle. The Prime Mover is from Aristotle's philosophy. Plato did not have "Four Causes", that is Aristotle (see here). You say "Plato believed that we have a priori knowledge of the Forms", which is true (but not what Aristotle said). But you go on to say "so I guess you could say that the Material World moves toward the PM because our immortal souls recognise it from before", which is talking about Aristotle. Only Aristotle was interested in the material world - Plato didn't think we could learn anything from it.

Plato taught Aristotle, but Aristotle rejected Plato's teaching and the two are considered rival philosophers. Make sure you keep them distinct in essays.
Thank you for clearing that up for me I apologise for spreading misinformation and have changed my original comment to make it more accurate.
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jimbleby
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No worries! Hope it helped.
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