Aristotle conceived of God as outside of the world, as the final cause of all motion in Nature, as Prime Mover and Unmoved Mover of the universe. Anybody who wants to make or produce something must have an idea or a previous knowledge of what he wants to produce. Take, for example, a bronze statue. But even here, a question could be raised: More provocative is the mention of Porphyry.
But if this is so, nothing that is need be; for it is possible for all things to be capable of existing but not yet to exist. For the nature of the stars is eternal just because it is a certain kind of substance, and the mover is eternal and prior to the moved, and that which is prior to a substance must be a substance. For example, to explain a statue, one can offer: An infinite series of motions is impossible. This might make one think that the intellectualist view of God as prime cause is tempered by an element of voluntarism. The elements of such a proposition are the noun substantive and the verb. Ethics Ethics, as viewed by Aristotle, is an attempt to find out our chief end or highest good: It would be both natural and reasonable to ask whether Aristotle would have accepted or rejected what is asserted by that sentence. We are told that, although Plato speaks as if the world came into being with a first moment of time, actually this is misleading. More provocative is the mention of Porphyry. Thus the Arabic Plotinus is an interpretation or reworking of Plotinus, and not just a translation. Evidently, then, there must be substances which are of the same number as the movements of the stars, and in their nature eternal, and in themselves unmovable, and without magnitude, for the reason before mentioned. The efficient cause, or agent, is the sculptor. God is absolute self-consciousness. Reason is opposed to the sense insofar as sensations are restricted and individual, and thought is free and universal. Its material cause is the bronze itself. One thing that seems certain is that the Arabic version was produced in the circle of al-Kindi, a ninth century philosopher who guided the work of several translators. This raises the question of whether he translated directly from Greek or from an intermediary Syriac version, which was a common practice in the Arabic translation movement. On the other hand, it has been noted that the Arabic version frequently assimilates Plotinian nous to the One. Anybody who wants to make or produce something must have an idea or a previous knowledge of what he wants to produce. But people mean such different things by the expression that he finds it necessary to discuss the nature of it for himself. And now the presence in God of perfect knowledge is proved from his immateriality. The level of pure thought was reached partly in the Eleatic philosophers such as Parmenides and Anaxagoras, but more completely in the work of Socrates. The Arabic Plotinus and Proclus not only have a similar textual history, but also overlap to a surprising degree philosophically. Aristotle argues that, although motion is eternal, there cannot be an infinite series of movers and of things moved. Aristotle had reasoned his way to the conclusion that a cause was needed to keep the universe everlastingly in motion.
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