Aristotle and the pre-cosmic chaos (De cael. 3.2, 301a11-20) Cover Image

Arystoteles i chaos prekosmiczny (De cael. 3.2, 301a11-20)
Aristotle and the pre-cosmic chaos (De cael. 3.2, 301a11-20)

Author(s): Maria Marcinkowska-Rosół
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego
Keywords: cosmogony; chaos; reception of Presocratic philosophy; Aristotle; Empedocle; Anaxagoras; Milesian monists

Summary/Abstract: The article is an analysis and interpretation of Aristotle’s De caelo 301a11-20. In this pas-sage Aristotle, confronting his concept of the natural movement of the elements with the concept of their haphazard pre-cosmic movement (ascribed to the atomists and Plato), refers to some Presocratic cosmogonies that do not allow for pre-cosmic disorder. According to the proposed interpretation, he considers three alternative cosmogonic models, in which the elements in the pre-cosmic stage are, respectively, 1) unmoved, 2) collected together, and 3) separated. Even if Aristo-tle, advocating the eternity of the world, does not accept the pre-cosmic phase at all, in this dialec-tical discussion he approves of the first two models and repudiates the third on the grounds of his own cosmology and definition of change. An analysis of his arguments leads to the rejection of the thesis (assumed by some scholars) that the passage ascribes the concept of the pre-cosmic rest of the ἀρχή to the Milesian monists and the idea of the pre-cosmic movement of the entirely divided elements to Empedocles.

  • Issue Year: 2013
  • Issue No: 35
  • Page Range: 65-83
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Polish