The Four Causes
Aristotle believed that everthing has a cause, there are four causes to explain the existence of everything:
1) The Material Cause: What an object is made from
2) The Efficient Cause: How an object is made
3) The Formal cause: The 'design features'
4) The Final Cause: The purpose of the object, if it fulfils its purpose then it is perfect
The Prime Mover
- Heraclitus, a philosopher once said "You never step into the same river twice". Aristotle developed this idea and agreed that everything was subject to change.
- This change has to be caused by something
- Aristotle believed that there was a chain of causes for everything that stretches back to something that starts this chain of motion but remains unmoved
- This, Aristotle called The Prime Mover
- The Prime Mover is what started everything off, it caused all movement and is the first of all substances
- The Prime mover is the FINAL CAUSE- it is the purpose that all material things move towards
- He suggested that the Prime Mover was God
- The Prime Mover causes movement by being the object of desire and love for the world-it attracts movement
- The Prime Mover is not a physical form, it is immaterial as it cannot be subject to change
- The Prime Mover is made of spiritual energy and is TRANSCENDENT from the physical world
Extra terms to learn
Horizontal Linea Causes: Is the efficient cause that there is no final cause?
This idea supports that of infinite regression.
Vertical Ultimate Causes: Ultimate explanations of why things exist
The prime mover is an example of this, it is unchanging, immaterial and transcendent.
Potentiality: The possibility of doing or becoming something.
Actuality: When the potential is achieved.
Aristotle was interested in the movement from potentiality to actuality.
Telos: 'end' or 'purpose'.
Teleological:The final result of a thing or to its purpose
Aristotle's main focus was on the telos of objects, he defiines an object according to its purpose