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This paper will explore how some pre-Aristotelian texts construct gods as causes of motion. In particular, it will explore how far – and how successfully – the causation of physical motion, intelligent and deliberate thinking and providential care interrelated in certain pre-Aristotelian theological models, those of Xenophanes, Heraclitus and the Athenian Stranger in Book 10 of Plato’s Laws. In relation to early (“Presocratic”) philosophy, it is often open to debate whether or how far the causes of cosmic motion (i) put things into orderly motion in an intelligent and deliberate manner, (ii) exercise providential care down to the level of human beings, as well as, in some cases, also (iii) are rightly styled “divine” at all. While these questions can be pursued in relation to a range of early philosophers (including Anaximander, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Diogenes of Apollonia and the Derveni author), this talk will consider in particular some pertinent fragments from Xenophanes (DK21 B1, B23, B25, B38, A14) and Heraclitus (DK22 B28b, B32, B41, B63, B64, B66, B67, B94). It will be argued that both philosophers posit a universal divinity that effects orderly cosmic motions intelligently and deliberately. To judge by our limited extant evidence, both permit a measure of providential care or punishment into their conceptions of divinity, although – in different ways – both leave unclear the precise scope and reach of such providence, as well as whether at least certain aspects of it would stem from the same universal divinity that effects and maintains the cosmic order or from other, secondary divinities who operate within that world-order. By contrast with this indeterminacy, in Laws 10 Plato overtly attempts to establish and elaborate precisely a version of this theological combination, postulating gods that are, at one and the same time, rational and deliberate causes of cosmic motion as well as supreme carers of human beings. Special attention will be paid to the Stranger’s attack against the deniers of divine providence (Lg. 899d-905c), and in particular to his argument that the gods, as supreme carers and by analogy with other good care-givers (such as good doctors), will be aware of and attentive to both large and small details of their charge and, therefore, will be aware of and attentive to not only macrocosmic processes but also individual human beings. Plato’s argument will emerge as a, not problem-free, but, nonetheless, viable and appealing theological approach, which is at once innovative and indebted to an earlier philosophical and theological tradition. In conclusion, the talk will draw out some broad points concerning the types of causes that gods may constitute – and the types of questions to which they may serve as answers – in the pre-Aristotelian tradition that will have emerged over the course of the talk.