Aristotle 's Four Causes On Science Essay

831 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
Aristotle’s Four Causes in Science
Explanation is basic human nature. It began as a way to pass blame onto another person, then onto God or gods. This changed with the ideas of Archimedes of Syracuse. Archimedes was a mathematician, physicist, and inventor who was responsible for the discovery of buoyancy and the invention of both the siege engine and screw pump. After his discoveries, the popular view on explanation was modified. Instead of divine powers intervening in the world, people realized that natural objects and forces were the cause of certain occurrences. Aristotle, a philosopher and scientist, believed that there were four categories of explanation he called “causes.” The material cause is that from which something is made, the efficient cause is that by which something is made, the formal cause is that into which something is made, and the final cause is that for the sake of which something is made. Together, the answers to all four causes constituted “true knowledge.” According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, science is defined as the “knowledge about or study of the natural world based on facts learned through experiments and observation.” In other words, science is the search for an explanation for why the world is what it is. Today, all four of the causes are useful to science considering it studies a concederably broad range of subjects, with more specific studies underneath its umbrella.
The material cause is that from which something is made. It is…

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