Self-clarification on the First Way

A: The First Way concludes to a God that is the energy of energy, or the force of force.

B: But who needs that? How can you give a vector to a vector? Or give a source of work to what is, all by itself, a source of work? It’s like you’re speaking about something that heats up fire or changes five to a prime number.

A: But motion is when some X goes from A to B. So you need an X that is, of itself, indifferent to A or B, and then somethign determined to be. It’s the conjunction of the indeterminate and determinate.

B: Fine.

A: So any X in motion (indeterminate) is being moved by another (determinate other).

B: By its force, its energy, mass-energy, whatever.

A: And you speak of its force because it’s in it, and in motion along with it. The energy is just another X.

B: Which is why you think we need a force of force, an energy of energy.

A: How else can we get something that causes motion without moving with? We need something present in one sense everywhere so far as it is of the mobile without being limited to it; and in another sense present nowhere since motion can’t consist in moving from one part of it to another.

B: So then you didn’t want something that heated up fire or made five prime, but something behind the first thing that causes motion but is itself in motion.

A: It might just be like Newtonian absolute space, which had no location and was not extended but allowed for definite location in any given extension.

B: Why say that Absolute Space had no extension?

A: Because you can’t mark off points in it, or you can only mark off points in it.

B: Light-speed-constancy seems to do that now, providing a location here and now without moving with something.

A: Right, as a sort of context or backdrop. But motion needs movers too.

B: Energy, or whatever is foundational to it in nature, is not so much the first mover as the primum mobile. 

A: Right. It plays exactly the role that Aristotle attributed to the heavens, which both move by nature and are moved by another.


  1. theofloinn said,

    October 27, 2015 at 1:48 pm

    You ought to collect these internal dialogues into a book.

  2. Loreen Lee said,

    October 27, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    Well, as usual I have difficulty understanding. But I did, in my own way, I believe rethink my ‘intuition’ of what ‘could be meant’ by the ‘unmoved’ mover. Initially, I have always thought it meant just that which does not move, whether force, or even a form of consciousness. From this I could even hypothesize, that it is not objects within ‘space’ that move, but the force, or consciousness, that ‘moves’ what ‘is’.
    But while reading your post, I thought of another possibility, which is possibly more ‘down to earth?’ What is ‘unmoved’ simply meant – not moved by another? This seems like perhaps a ‘too simple’ definition of a ‘prime’ ‘first’ mover. I’m possibly just tautologically ‘repeating’ myself. But….that’s what I ‘mean’!! It is possibly that I can initiate a ‘movement’ here…????…of mind????? (I guess you can understand why I have difficulty understanding your posts. I don’t expect you to publish this. Just trying to ‘express’ my ‘self?’… Thanks.

  3. Loreen Lee said,

    October 27, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Thanks. (Your new article). You’ve actually got me reading (yes, I admit Wikipedia articles). And so I’ve read about the ‘active intellect’, and other concepts, that are related to ‘the prime/unmoved mover’ concept. (and other articles relative to Aristotle). So thanks for the hint. Other than that I shall resort to my usual ‘passive intellect’, and hopefully, perhaps I shall receive a ‘prompting’ from the Holy Ghost.!!

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