Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Aristotle
Pages of On The Heavens

Previous | Next

On The Heavens   

nothing to chance, and would not, while caring for animals, overlook

things so precious. Indeed, nature seems deliberately to have stripped

them of everything which makes selforiginated progression possible,

and to have removed them as far as possible from things which have

organs of movement. This is just why it seems proper that the whole

heaven and every star should be spherical. For while of all shapes the

sphere is the most convenient for movement in one place, making

possible, as it does, the swiftest and most selfcontained motion,

for forward movement it is the most unsuitable, least of all

resembling shapes which are self-moved, in that it has no dependent or

projecting part, as a rectilinear figure has, and is in fact as far as

possible removed in shape from ambulatory bodies. Since, therefore,

the heavens have to move in one lace, and the stars are not required

to move themselves forward, it is natural that both should be

spherical-a shape which best suits the movement of the one and the

immobility of the other.


From all this it is clear that the theory that the movement of the

stars produces a harmony, i.e. that the sounds they make are

concordant, in spite of the grace and originality with which it has

been stated, is nevertheless untrue. Some thinkers suppose that the

motion of bodies of that size must produce a noise, since on our earth

the motion of bodies far inferior in size and in speed of movement has

that effect. Also, when the sun and the moon, they say, and all the

stars, so great in number and in size, are moving with so rapid a

motion, how should they not produce a sound immensely great?

Starting from this argument and from the observation that their

speeds, as measured by their distances, are in the same ratios as

musical concordances, they assert that the sound given forth by the

circular movement of the stars is a harmony. Since, however, it

appears unaccountable that we should not hear this music, they explain

Previous | Next
Site Search