Essay about The Causes And Its Effects On The World

1062 Words Nov 7th, 2016 5 Pages
Four Causes:
Aristotle maintains that there are four causes, material, formal, efficient and final, that are responsible for explaining how change occurs in the world. In order to explain how things change, Aristotle argues that all four of these causes must be applied to the change that occurs (56, 197b25). Therefore, Aristotle claims that these four causes explain how things come to be. The first cause, the material cause, is essentially what the thing is made out of, or the raw materials that constitute that thing (48, 194b25). To put this into context, Aristotle gives the example of bronze being the material for a bowl (48, 194b26). The raw material, or material cause, would be the bronze that the bowl is made of. Further, the material cause is also a way of understanding the properties, or characteristics of an object. As Aristotle explains, the letters are the properties, or characteristics of syllables (49, 195a15).
The next of the four causes is the formal cause. The formal cause explains why a thing is that said thing, instead of another thing. This cause explains why something is that thing instead of being multiple things (48, 194b27). The formal cause represents the pattern, or design of the form of the thing. Aristotle better explains this with an example of a statue. The bronze is not the statue, yet the way the bronze is molded into the statue creates the formal cause of the statue (48, 194b5). The statue takes form because of the way the bronze…

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