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a. Describe Aristotle's teaching about the difference between the Final Cause and other sorts of causes.

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  1. Describe Aristotle’s teaching about the difference between the Final Cause and other sorts of causes.

Aristotle focused his questioning on the reason behind why something exists and what purpose it holds. Opposed to Plato, Aristotle’s theories of why something holds the characteristics that it does is all apparent to the physical world. His thought of ‘form’ was not an ‘ideal’ in another universe, but was within the item, in its structure and characteristics. Aristotle thought that the form of an object is perceivable by the senses we hold instead of being a thought only process. He used the word ‘substance’ to express material in which objects are made from, for example the substance of a chair is the wood, nails and adjustments.

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The final cause is however the final and most significant cause. The final cause sums up the understanding of Aristotle’s thinking of existence. The final cause of a painting for example was to make a beautiful painting for reasons that he had particularly aimed to acquire.

The final cause is the purpose for all objects, the end and full perfection of the made thing. Aristotle believed that once an object had reached its goal to be used as it was intended, the object had achieved goodness.

     The final cause, also known as the Prime mover is ultimately the object of everything.

Objects are formed from material by someone changing it into having a purpose, they are always changing, people are growing and material is being sculpted.

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The prime mover is believed to have no substance or matter as it cannot perform as humans do with movement of thought as this would be changing, and therefore imperfect. Aristotle claimed that the unmoved mover was everlasting, unchanging and spiritual; the final cause of movement therefore is the love and desire for god. God is perfection and therefore everything wants to change to imitate this perfection, creating movement with out moving. Aristotle perceived the final cause or prime mover as god because god does not depend on anything else existing and eternal so cannot create movement by psychical means and thus must create movement to be drawn to him.  

b. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Aristotle’s ideas about cause.

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