Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

Natures Nature, according to Aristotle, is an inner principle of change and being at rest Physics 2. This means that when an entity moves or is at rest according to its nature reference to its nature may serve as an explanation of the event. We have to describe how—to what extent, through what other processes, and due to what agency—the preconditions for the process of change or of being at rest are present, but once we have provided an account of these preconditions, we have given a complete account of the process.

Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

The Four Causes What are there four of? This is misleading in several ways: Typically, it is substances that have causes. And that sounds odd.

Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

We will begin with the question, What is it that Aristotle says there are four of? The Greek word is aition plural aitia ; sometimes it takes a feminine form, aitia plural aitiai. And what is an aition?

So an aition is best thought of as an explanation than as a cause. That is, an aition is something that plays a role as an explanatory factor in the explanation of something.

Quotations from Physics II. But what the account misses is the idea that there is something ambiguous about the notion of aition.

The ambiguity of aition Aristotle warns us of the ambiguity at a5: There is no English translation of aition that is ambiguous in the way Aristotle claims aition is. The table is made of wood.

Having four legs and a flat top makes this count as a table. A carpenter makes a table. Having a surface suitable for eating or writing makes this work as a table. Aristotelian versions of 1 - 4: Wood is an aition of a table. Having four legs and a flat top is an aition of a table.

A carpenter is an aition of a table.

Aristotle on Causality (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)

Having a surface suitable for eating or writing is an aition of a table. These sentences can be disambiguated by specifying the relevant sense of aition in each case: Wood is what the table is made out of. Having four legs and a flat top is what it is to be a table. A carpenter is what produces a table.

Eating on and writing on is what a table is for.

Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

Dynamic Causes Matter and form are two of the four causes, or explanatory factors. But they do not tell us how it came to be that way. Change consists in matter taking on or losing form. Efficient and final causes are used to explain why change occurs. This is easiest to see in the case of an artifact, like a statue or a table.

The table has come into existence because the carpenter put the form of the table which he had in his mind into the wood of which the table is composed.Aristotle's Theory of the Four Causes is a theory that explains how everything that is observed in the world appears to have existed through cause and effect.

The point is that these four causes can encompass an objects complete description, such as what it's made of, what it looks like, what made it and its purpose. In his writing, Physics, Aristotle gives four causes that are responsible for that which is by nature, with the final cause, the purpose of a thing, being the considered the chief cause.

With this principle in mind, Aristotle ponders what the final causes are for both man and for the state in the Nicomachean Ethics. Aristotle’s Four Causes Aristotle describes and argues for the four causes in his books Physics and Metaphysics as a part of developing his philosophy of substance.

Essay: Aristotle's Four Causes - Philosophical Investigations

He claims that there are four causes (or explanations) needed to explain change in the world. Modern science doesn't consider Aristotle's final cause to be a cause. The modern meaning of the word cause is simply different from the meaning of the word as used by Aristotle.

However, modern science still considers describing "relevant ends" as . I will be looking in depth at these four causes separately, and will also critically examine the specific strengths of Aristotle's theory and the broader issues surrounding it.

Aristotle's theory of the “material cause” is accepted as one of the primary accounts of causation. Alfarabi And Aristotle: The Four Causes And The Four Stages Of The Doc Essay - Alfarabi and Aristotle: The Four Causes and The Four Stages of The Doctrine of The Intelligence Alfarabi was raised as a young boy in Baghdad.

His early life was spent studying the art of linguistics, philosophy, and logic.

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