• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explain Aristotles understanding of the four causes. (25)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

´╗┐Explain Aristotle?s understanding of the four causes. (25) Aristotle was an empiricist, and believed that truth about reality comes from a posterior knowledge; which is the role of gaining knowledge from experience, especially through our senses. Though he was the student of Plato, he greatly disagreed with some of Plato's ideas; Aristotle's ideas were based on what we experience Aristotle wanted to examine what it meant for something to be real, and this is how he formed his ideas of the four causes. His theory was based on knowledge that was found through experience and empirical observation, for example the physical world. One question that fascinated Aristotle was the question of cause. Aristotle explained that things could be seen in four different ways he came to this conclusion because of the theory of causation which lead him to believe that the world existed in a state of cause and effect. ...read more.

Middle

All of these causes are the material, formal, efficient and the final cause. Aristotle examines the concept of substance. He concludes that substance is a combination of matter and form and this is what a thing is made up off. The Form the thing and distinguishing characteristics, and matter being the material that the thing is made from. For example the matter of a house is the bricks, timber, etc while the form of the house is the actual house. One of the most important aspects of his idea was the development from potentiality to actuality; this provided a basis for the discussion of the beginning and existence of all things, including the universe. This development of potentiality to actuality is the idea of something becoming a reality. ...read more.

Conclusion

Aristotle believed that the efficient cause is where potentiality is turn to actuality, the person sees the potential of the wood and actualises it by making it into a wooden table. The formal cause is the form of which something is in. For example the wooden table is the way it is because it is in the form of a wooden table. That something allows it to be identified as a wooden table. Aristotle explained that something has its own form opposed to sharing in the ideal form. The final cause is the goal or telos of a thing, the reason for its existence in the first place (e.g to allow someone to used the surface is the final purpose). This is the most important aspect of Aristotle?s thinking. This shows that his thought is consistently teleological as everything is always moving or changing and has a telos ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Philosophy section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Philosophy essays

  1. Plato versus Aristotle on well being

    One of the most crucial points Aristotle makes is that although virtue is necessary for 'well-being' it is in fact not sufficient. In order to be truly happy one must have three things. 1. A good character. 2. One must be active in living virtuously 3.

  2. Explain Plato's and Aristotle's ideas of form, body, knowledge and soul.

    Hence, although all knowledge must begin with information acquired through the senses, its results are achieved by rational means. Transcending the sensory preoccupation with particulars, the soul employs the formal methods of logic to cognise the relationships among abstract forms.

  1. Explain Aristotles Theory that everything in the universe is caused

    The explanation of causes is reduced to its parts such as factors, elements, constituents, ingredients, forming the whole. For example, a book is made of paper, therefore the matter that the book is made from is paper. The second cause according to Aristotle is the formal cause.

  2. Synoptic Study, Satre, Engels and Marx

    The book tells the story of Pablo Ibbieta, a resistance fighter who in captured. He faces a similar dilemma in which he has to reveal where the rebel Ramon Gris is or face the firing squad. In the story Pablo actually chooses to face the firing squad but most people

  1. Explain Aristotles idea of the four causes.

    If something does not have an efficient cause then it would never exist because something causes it to be. Lastly there is the final cause. This is the purpose of an object, the reason for it?s existence. Aristotle believed that this was the most important cause and that all nature has an ultimate reason for existence.

  2. Explain Aristotles theory of the Four Causes (25 marks)

    So the pages of the book could be written on or some may be ripped out. However it still remains a ?book?. The second of Aristotle?s explanations is the efficient cause.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work