The causality of the unmoved mover according to Pseudo Alexander


  • Rita Salis Dipartimento di Filosofia, Università di Padova, Padova, Italia


Aristotle, pseudo Alexander, first mover, causality


this essay discusses the issue of causality of Aristotle’s first mover. The problem, arisen already with Theophrastus, still constitutes one of most debated issues. The prevailing theory among the ancient commentators and for a long time among the contemporary interpreters, according to which the unmoved mover would move as a final cause, has found now a new possible interpretation, defended by Salis in her paper too, in virtue of which the first mover would produce the movement as an efficient cause. Salis analyzes the interpretation offered by one of the ancient commentators of Aristotle, known as Pseudo Alexander. This commentator, previously considered a Neoplatonist, has been recently identified with Michael of Ephesus, a Byzantine writer of the XI-XIIth centuries. According to Alexander of Aphrodisias, heaven would move in order to become uniform with the first mover, and it would move with a circular movement (the kind of movement that is closer to the absolute immobility of the first cause, of which heaven is an imitation). Pseudo Alexander, Salis suggests, even following the traditional interpretation, builds up an entirely original theory in maintaining that, regarding the problem of the causality of the first mover, he moves away from Alexander and introduces an innovative ingredient: according to him, the first heaven would not tend to imitate the unmoved mover, but would aim at appropriating or joining it.

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How to Cite

Salis, R. (2009). The causality of the unmoved mover according to Pseudo Alexander. Estudios De Filosofía, (40), 199–221. Retrieved from



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