• Created by: Maisie97
  • Created on: 13-05-15 18:38


Ancient greek philosopher

Student of Plato - disagreed with his ideas


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The four causes.

Recognised everything in the world is changing - he looked at the world around him to explain this

The material cause - the things the object is made of

The efficint cause - agent that put the object into existence

The formal cause - the shapes that the object represents

The final cause - the purpose the object has

Key words...

Potentiality - the state that an object could become

Actuality - the state that the object currently is

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Prime mover.

Nothing can change itself the cause must be an outside mover

Aristotle thought infinate regresstiuon was impossible, therefore there must be a first cause

He argued things cant change themselves

Coal has the potential to become hot even though it is actually cold - must be external source

Everything in the universe has actuality and potentiality

Therefore the change must be outside the universe

The prime mover is god - different to JC concept of god

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Characteristics of prime mover.

Unchanging - if the prime mover had potential to change it would have to rely on something else

Nessesary - cant be contingent on anything else

Cant intervine in the universe - the universe is changing if the prime mover got involved it to would be changing

Concept of divine thought - can only think about itself and not about other things changing

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Evaluation of the prime mover.


Knowledge is based on careful observations

The final cause explains why the universe came into existence

The four causes can be applied


If the prime mover cant change then it would not be perfect as it cant do this one thing

Unclear about link between prime mover and the universe

Argument based on the impossibility of infinate regression

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