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Explain Aristotle’s Understanding of Causality Essay

  • Submitted by: sofiekajoseph
  • on November 18, 2013
  • Category: College Admissions
  • Length: 608 words

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Below is an essay on "Explain Aristotle’s Understanding of Causality" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Aristotle was a 5th century BCE Ancient Greek philosopher, who was a student of Plato and studied in his ‘Academia’. Although Plato and Aristotle shared some common interests, they had complete philosophical opposites. Aristotle believed in empiricism, whereas Plato believed in dualism and rationalism. Aristotle always had a fascination with causation, and endeavoured this by using the Socratic Method in his ‘4 causes’.

Aristotle, like many Greek philosophers, believed that the world was in constant change, or in persistent flux. Aristotle also believed that because of this motion, there had to be a system of cause and effect. Aristotle, then devised his famous ‘4 causes’ in an attempt to understand and develop his knowledge on causation.

The first of this ‘4 causes’ is called the Material Cause. This cause seeks to understand the composition of materials in an object, or a thing. For example, we can say that the material cause of a desk comprises wood chippings, adhesives and veneer. However, this cause, in itself does not explain a ‘desk’. This made Aristotle develop upon this cause.

The second cause for Aristotle is called the Efficient Cause. This cause seeks to understand the process or change which has happened to cause the object into existence. For example, we can say that the efficient cause of a desk is the hammering of nails onto numerous quantities of wood by a carpenter. The carpenter actualises potential in the efficient cause by hammering nails and making the desk. However, the work of the carpenter could result in another object, rather than a ‘desk’. This made Aristotle develop his causes even further.

The third cause is called the Formal Cause. This cause seeks to understand the characteristics and appearance of the said object. For example, we can say that the formal cause of a desk it to be able to stand upright on 4 legs, and appear to have a large surface area.

The fourth cause is called the Final Cause. The Final Cause...

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Explain Aristotle’s Understanding of Causality. Anti Essays. Retrieved December 10, 2018, from the World Wide Web: http://snehaedu.com/free-essays/Explain-Aristotle-s-Understanding-Of-Causality-547000.html