Colloquium: Jan. 24th 2020

Speaker: Margaret Scharle, Reed College

Title: The Teleology of Divine Imitation in Aristotle

Friday January 24th 2:30pm in CLE A303



I disentangle two aspects of Aristotle’s god that have heretofore gone unnoticed: god is not only perfect activity, but is also the perfect orderer: unlike Plato’s divine demiurge, who manually labors for the order he imposes on the cosmos, Aristotle’s god does no work at all.  Instead, Aristotle’s god is simply the perfect exemplar that other substances in the universe toil to imitate.  While unified in the divine, the two aspects of activity and ordering are refracted into two sorts of imitative teleology, or end-directedness— things in the universe aim to do the activity god does and things in the universe aim to order other things like god does—both of which are essential to comprehending the unity of Aristotle’s natural science, ethics and politics.