GOD AND THE NATURE OF THE WORLD: THE 'THEOLOGICAL EXCURSUS' IN THEOPHRASTUS' METEOROLOGY

in Mnemosyne
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Abstract

The so-called theological excursus in the Arabic translation of Theophrastus' Meteorology shows a division between two kinds of causation that gives rise to serious doubts concerning the authorship of the passage. Whereas from the Metaphysics it may be inferred that Theophrastus was inclined to consider the mode of being of the cosmos, by its very essence consisting of both order and disorder, as good and divine, the excursus maintains that god is responsible only for the order in the world (which is good), whereas the nature of the world itself, with its plurality of causes, accounts for the disorder (which is bad). It is argued that those passages adduced as a parallel for the excursus (from the Metaphysics and De pietate in particular) do not bear out this claim, and that other Theophrastean texts and sources make it unlikely that Theophrastus is the author of the excursus in its present form.

GOD AND THE NATURE OF THE WORLD: THE 'THEOLOGICAL EXCURSUS' IN THEOPHRASTUS' METEOROLOGY

in Mnemosyne

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