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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: December 2020

Chapter 8 - God’s Relation to the Cosmos (Chapter 6)

Summary

Chapter 6 is the longest and the most elaborate chapter of De mundo. The topic of the chapter is God and his relation to the cosmos. This relation is explained by a sequence of no less than twelve analogies. It is argued that this proliferation of analogies is not an extravagant rhetorical profusion, but an elaborate explanatory device that affords the reader a fuller grasp of God: the sequence is composed in such a way that one analogy corrects or supplements another, thus building a complex conception of God in the mind of the reader. Following a detailed analysis of the analogies and their relations, the conception of God that emerges is discussed. It is argued that this conception is a distinctly Aristotelian one, albeit with some interesting elaborations and additions. The absence of Aristotle’s technical terms in the explanation of God and his relation to the world, it is suggested, is a consequence of the author’s attempt to make the Aristotelian conception of God attractive to non-Aristotelians as well. This contribution ends with a note on the use of quotations in Chapter 6, since nine out of the twelve quotations in De mundo are found in this one chapter.

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