- Material, efficient, formal, final causes
- Prime Mover
- A posteriori
Aquinas' First Way to prove God exists - motion/change. Anything which is changing is being changed by something else. The first cause/mover os everything is God.
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- Potentality to actuality - progression from idea to reality
- Four Causes
- material cause - what is it made of?
- efficient cause - how was it made?
- formal cause - characteristics
- final cause - ultimate purpose
- Final cause is the most important
- Final purpose = teleology. When this is realised, an object has reached perfection and goodness
- The purpose of an object is intrinsic - cannot be changed
- Nothing is superfluous
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- Answers questions such as:
- what does it mean for something it exist?
- what gives particular objects their characteristics
- what causes everything?
- why does change occur?
- can something have matter but no form?
- how do things move from potentiality to actuality?
- Knowledge is based on the physical world
- Causes are based on empirical evidence
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Strengths of Causality:
- Ideas from the world of sense experience - can be verified or falsified
- Scientifically plausible
- Science and God are not necessarily mutually exclusive
- Basis for popular ethical theories such as Natural Law and Virtue Ethics
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Weaknesses of Causality:
- Is the material world the only source of true knowledge?
- Little evidence for the final cause - what if things happen by blind chance?
- Is there any purpose except existence?
- Causality cannot be applied to the Prime Mover
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- Eternal substance that is immune to change
- Causes all motion/change
- Responsible for all things
- Umoved, good, impersonal
- Final cause
- Matter without form
- Object of love and desire for the world
- Humans trive for the Prime Mover's perfection
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Why Prime Mover?
- All movement depends on a mover
- Final purpose of all things
- Change is eternal - no first change, only a changer.
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Strengths of Prime Mover:
- Explanations for movement and change
- Gives ultimate purpose
- Reason for purpose (object of love & desire)
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Weaknesses of Prime Mover:
- Claiming God causes himself contradicts the theory of an uncaused causer
- Why is there a Prime Mover - why not a chain of cause and effect?
- No one can experiece the Prime Mover
- Aristotle claims a person's purpose is immortal and yet also says the soul dies with the body
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