Essay on Aristotle's four causes

  • Created by: Lottie
  • Created on: 06-05-12 09:40

Explain Aristotle’s four causes

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who had been taught by Plato but disagreed with his belief of dualism and world of the Forms existed but they were not in a world of Forms. What he believed was that Forms existed but they were not in a world of Forms.

He was an empiricist who believed that knowledge could be gained through experience and senses. What fascinated Aristotle the most was why things exist and why they were as they were. To help him understand these questions, he came up with his four causes; efficient, final, material and formal along with a concept of a prime mover which he believed to control the final cause.

Firstly, the material cause looked at what an object or thing is made out of. Aristotle used the example of a statue to demonstrate all his causes so the material cause of a statue would be marble as this is what it is made out of. But you can apply these causes to any object, so for example the material cause of a book would be paper and the material cause of humans would be flesh.

Secondly, the efficient cause is what Aristotle stated


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