Causation Theory

Topics: Causality, Aristotle, Four causes Pages: 2 (408 words) Published: February 28, 2013
Philosophy Essay
Explain Aristotle’s causation theory (25)

Aristotle was a Greek philosopher born in BC 384. He introduced the theory of causation, and he used causation to prove that this is the real world through senses, empirical evidence, the prime mover and the 4 causes.

Aristotle believes in two different things which are potentiality and Actuality. Potentiality is something that is possible as everyone has potential but it might not happen, whereas actuality is more realistic. Aristotle first introduced this theory of causality as a way of understanding the human experience of physical nature. There may be multiple causes, but there is one cause which is the final cause, the fundamental source of becoming, which can also be called teleology. Aristotle argued that there is a fundamental source of becoming in everything that everything tends towards some end, or form.

Aristotle proved this is the real world by using the four causes, the first one is the material cause, and this is the material of which it consists. For example, for a table, the material causes would be the wood. The next one is the formal cause, this is its form for i.e. the arrangement of the matter. The next cause is the efficient cause, this is why it has been made or put here on earth. The last cause is the final cause which is its aim or purpose. Aristotle argued that behind every movement there must be a chain of events that brought about the movement that we see taking place. Aristotle argued that this chain of events must lead back to something which moves but is itself unmoved. This is referred to as the Prime Mover. In Aristotle’s view change is eternal. There cannot have been a first change, because something would have to have happened just before that change which set it off, and this itself would have been a change, and so on. The Prime Mover causes the movement of other things as a final cause. It does not start off the movement by giving it some kind of push, but...
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