englischThis book intends to examine the Aristotelian theology as it is manifested within Corpus aristotelicum and in the third book of De Philosophia. The contemporary presence and even the superimposition of theologies of diverse origins is rendered possible, for Aristotle, by the use of the term 'god' not as a proper noun but as an attribute, having the function of indicating a degree of excellence in a systematic scale of beings. This statement is legitimised by two exegetic hypotheses named by the author 'principle of malista' and 'attributive function of the term god', which justify the use of the terms theos and theion as an apposition and an attribute. Theos is not, for Aristotle, the highest subject of a theological investigation, but the necessary term to individualize and characterize a degree of excellence.
The Aristotelian research is oriented to understanding not so much if the divinity exists but in which form it manifests itself in its complete aspect. Failing an exact notion of god, which could rule out the possibility of a plurality of gods, it's not unusual that theos was used in ancient times as a predicate. Nevertheless Aristotle provides us with some information about the demonstration of god in his works. In the first chapter of the second book of the Analytica Posteriora Aristotle offers a fourfold classification of objects of inquiry. Under the third head come questions of existence. The construction of the existence question produces only one term and a verb expressing existence. But this contradicts what Aristotle says in the following chapter. In Analytica Posteriora 2. 2 the philosopher insists that in all four questions what we are looking for is a middle term. When Aristotle concludes that in all inquiries we are asking if a middle term is or what the middle term is, what is being asked is whether there is a middle term linking the attribute theos to its subject. And this sense is clearly existential. In Analytica Posteriora 2. 1 Aristote is neither introducing an existential question nor a difference between an existential and a predicative use of 'to be', but rather between two predicative uses of the verb: the first use involves identifying something as such and such by predicating a substantial term of as yet unidentified subject, and the second use involves characterising something as such and such by predicating a non substantial term of an identified substance. The proof of god in Analytica Posteriora is not the only demonstration of god in Aristotle's works. The argument in Metaphysic XII is far and away more famous and like the medieval proceeding, but not identical. Medieval philosophers are conscious that the existence of god is neither a plain truth nor easy to approach. Hence they need proof to quiet human perturbations and sceptical doubts. Unlike Aristotle's problem isn't to know if god exists but to identify the most complete divine form. There is doubt, for Aristotle, that 'god is here', but god shows itself in various shapes, because god is by nature apeiron.