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Aristotle: Cause and Purpose.

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Aristotle: Cause and Purpose. Aristotle (384-322BC) was a pupil of Plato; however, he argued that the Forms were seriously flawed. He believed that Plato's theory of forms was not supported by good arguments, required a form for each thing, was too mathematical and did not adequately explain the occurrence of change. Aristotle's theory of causation maintains that all the causes form several divisions. The total number of these divisions depends on the ways the question "why" may be answered. The major kinds of causes come under the following divisions: The first is called Material Cause. Material cause relates to the cause of something in terms of the physical make-up. ...read more.


Efficient cause explains something in terms of its starting point of change or stability; the actions which cause something to exist. The Efficient Cause is that from which the change or the conclusion of the change was introduced. It implies all agents of change whether nonliving or living. For instance, in the above example the efficient cause of the statue was the sculptor. It was he who made the change in the bronze and silver, making it into a statue. But an in-depth explanation of the production of a statue points to a deeper efficient cause or the principle that produces the statue. Aristotle believes it is not just the artist but more importantly the principle is the art of bronze-casting the statue. ...read more.


Lastly, Aristotle describes the final cause. Final cause explains the cause of why something is made. The Final Cause is that for the sake of which a thing exists or is done, its purpose and its actions and activities. The final cause is the end to which something must serve. For example, the final cause of a statue could be to portray a god for decorative purposes. A wax cast is first made to make a statue. Then bronze is melted and poured in the wax cast. The prior and the subsequent stage are done for a certain end, the production of the statue. Each step of the artistic production leads to the final cause or that for the sake of which everything is done which is, in this instance, the statue. ...read more.

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