De Mundo (On the Cosmos). A Commentary

By Pseudo-Aristotle

Edition and commentary by Pavel Gregorić and and George Karamanolis

Authors: Gregorić, Pavel (Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Philosophy in Zagreb, Croatia) and Karamanolis, George (Associate Professor, University of Vienna)

Reference: Pseudo-Aristotle: De Mundo (On the Cosmos). A Commentary. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020, 245 pages, ISBN: 9781108834780

De mundo is a protreptic to philosophy in the form of a letter to Alexander the Great and is traditionally ascribed to Aristotle. It offers a unique view of the cosmos, God and their relationship, which was inspired by Aristotle but written by a later author. The author provides an outline of cosmology, geography and meteorology, only to argue that a full understanding of the cosmos cannot be achieved without a proper grasp of God as its ultimate cause. To ensure such a grasp, the author provides a series of twelve carefully chosen interlocking analogies, building a complex picture in the reader’s mind. The work develops a distinctly Aristotelian picture of God and the cosmos while paying tribute to pre-Aristotelian philosophers and avoiding open criticism of rival schools of philosophy. De mundo exercised considerable influence in late antiquity and then in the Renaissance and Early Modern times.