In Book 6 - Lecture 6 - 1189 of Aristotle's Ethics, it says:

That man is the most excellent of all animals makes no difference, because there are other creatures more divine by their nature, for instance, the very evident things that constitute the universe.

It states that:

  • man is the most excellent of all animals;
  • there are other creatures more divine by their nature than man, such as the things [heavenly bodies] constituting the universe.

How do I understand the word divine?

If it means Godlike, men are created in God's images, there should be no other things more divine than men;

I found in MW the definition of "being a deity", and deity could mean "one exalted or revered as supremely good or powerful". The sun or black holes are more powerful than men in many aspects.

I just try to understand the text better. What's your thought on the word divine in this context?

  • Aristotle wrote in ancient Greek, not English. I'm sure the translator chose the word divine for a good reason, but I do not recommend exploring its subtleties for a deeper insight into Aristotle's intended meaning. Aug 9, 2022 at 17:08
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – gotube
    Aug 10, 2022 at 5:25

1 Answer 1


It's another way of saying superior to, however you want to understand it.

Whether humans are created in God's image is a matter of religious belief, not of English grammar.

  • 1
    And of course he was neither a Jew nor a Christian. Aug 9, 2022 at 18:25

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .