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By David Bradshaw

Winner of the magazine of the heritage of Ideas's Morris D. Forkosch prize This e-book lines the improvement thought of God and the connection among God's being and job from Aristotle, throughout the pagan Neoplatonists, to thinkers corresponding to Augustine, Boethius, and Aquinas (in the West) and Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the Confessor, and Gregory Palamas (in the East). The resulst is a comparative background of philosophical suggestion within the halves of Christendom, supplying a philosophical backdrop to the schism among the japanese and Western church buildings.

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4 That the Mover is active in some way has, after all, been taken as given ever since step (4) of the initial argument. The question is, what kind of activity is there that does not import some reference to potency? Aristotle’s distinction between energeia and kine¯sis points in the direction of activities such as thinking and sight, which are complete at every moment and so are not in potency with regard to some as yet unachieved end. But of course sight and other perceptual activities will not do, for they occur only in embodied organisms and require an external object.

Nonetheless, the way is now open for him to isolate a yet stricter kind of actuality, one that excludes potency altogether, and to give it a special place at the heart of his ontology. Before leaving Book ix, we must take note of one further way in which actuality is prior to potency. 9 begins by promising to show that energeia is “better and more honorable” than even a good potency (1051a4–5). 36 The argument is a simple one: every potency is a potency for opposites, and of the opposites one must be good and the other bad.

20 Aristotle East and West same type, in accordance with the general principle that “everything that is produced is produced from something and by something . . 31 Aristotle also adds the further argument that just as one who is learning must already possess in some degree the science being learned, so some part of everything that comes to be must already exist while it is coming to be (1049b29–50a3). 32 More important for our purposes are a pair of arguments given to show that actuality is prior to potency in substance.

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