Zusammenfassung / Summary
What is the relationship between the highest form of human cognitive activity, contemplation (theôria), and the activity of God, “which surpasses all others in blessedness” and which Aristotle characterizes as contemplative? An influential line of interpretation proposes that human beings exercise for a short time exactly the same activity which God enjoys forever. Against such an identity-thesis the paper shows that the difference between human and divine contemplation is not only temporal: Exclusively God as a thinking of thinking realises in a perfect way what it means to contemplate, whilst human beings realise it only in an imperfect way. In us this kind of thinking is based on the acquisition of a certain kind of knowledge and so depends on objects other than ourselves. This human kind of contemplation makes clear that the human nature should not be described as a radical tension between composite (syntheton) und divine being.