The Astronomical System of Aristotle

An Interpretation


This book shows that a rigorous study of Aristotle’s Metaphysics is not simply an exercise in the history of astronomy, but constitutes a broad inquiry into our germinal ideas about speed, motion, and the spherical nature of celestial entities, as well as the relation between theology and gnoseology. Many have heard of Aristotle’s First Unmoved Mover, the one that moves all things without being moved. Very few, however, have managed to capture the ultimate meaning of that entity. One of the goals of this book is to explore why the existence of such a First Unmoved Mover is necessary, but the journey to this end allows us to understand why Aristotle maintained that there are a total of 55 Unmoved Movers, not just one. The key is Aristotelian astronomy, little studied so far in comparison with other aspects of his thought. In this solid piece of research and free philosophical speculation that Botteri & Casazza offer us, the authors’ gaze raised to the sky—by means of the naked-eye analysis of celestial movements—leads to the reconstruction of Aristotle’s astronomical system, key to understanding his cosmology, his physics, and even his metaphysics.

This book is a revised English translation from the original Spanish publication El sistema astronómico de Aristoteles: Una interpretación, published by Ediciones Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires, 2015.

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Roberto Casazza, MA, PhD (1968) is professor of Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy at Universidad Nacional de Rosario (Argentina). He has published articles on several authors and themes of Ancient, Medieval, and Renaissance Medicine, Philosophy and Cosmology.

Gerardo Botteri, BPhys, BPsy, MBA (1961) is professor of Physics at the Universidad Tecnológica Nacional (San Nicolás de los Arroyos) and assistant professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Psychology of the Universidad Nacional de Rosario. He has been teaching Theoretical Physics over three decades, and conducted research on several topics on the history of Physics and Astronomy.
Acknowledgements for this Translated Edition
Acknowledgements to the Original Edition
Prologue, by Horacio Gonzalez

1. The Spherical, Limited, and Hierarchical Cosmology of Aristotle

2. The Spherical Whole in Pre-Socratic Philosophy

3. The Platonic Mandate: Reducing Celestial Phenomena to Circular Motions

4. Eudoxus and Callippus: Planetary Models
 4.1 The Heavens and the Compass
 4.2 Planetary Trajectories

5. Aristotle’s Astronomical System
 5.1 The Prime Mover and Unmoved Movers
 5.2 Unmoved Movers and Celestial Spheres
 5.3 Kinematics and Dynamics
 5.4 The Integration of Planetary Spheres
 5.5 The First Heaven and Wandering Stars
 5.6 Two Celestial Systems

6. Metaphysics, , 8 and the Genetic Interpretation

7. Aristotle’s Meta-Astral Theology

8. The Animation of Celestial Bodies

9. Aristotle’s System in Perspective

 Text Fragments
 Eudoxus’s System: Additional Resources
 The Grupo de Estudio del Cielo



Subject index
Author index
The Astronomic System of Aristotle would attract scholars of Aristotle's thought as well as undergraduate students. It will also be useful for historians of science, because it pays attention to astronomical and cosmological themes, at the dawn of the scientific tradition.
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