Show Less
Restricted access

Aristotle's Four Causes

Boris Hennig

This book examines Aristotle’s four causes (material, formal, efficient, and final), offering a systematic discussion of the relation between form and matter, causation, taxonomy, and teleology. The overall aim is to show that the four causes form a system, so that the form of a natural thing relates to its matter as the final cause of a natural process relates to its efficient cause. Aristotle’s Four Causes reaches two novel and distinctive conclusions. The first is that the formal cause or essence of a natural thing is not a property of this thing but a generic natural thing. The second is that the final cause of a process is not its purpose but the course that processes of its kind typically take.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Albritton, Rogers. (1957). “II. Forms of Particular Substances in Aristotle’s Metaphysics”. The Journal of Philosophy 54 (22), p. 699–708.

Allan, D. J. (1955). “The Practical Syllogism”. In L. de Raeymaker, ed., Autour d’Aristote, offert à A. Mansion. Louvain: Publications Universitaires.

Allen, James. (2015). “Aristotle on Chance as an Accidental Cause”. In M. Leunissen, ed., Aristotle’s Physics, A Critical Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Allison, Henry E. (2004). Kant’s Transcendental Idealism. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Ameriks, Karl. (1992). “Kantian Idealism Today”. History of Philosophy Quarterly 9 (3), p. 329–342.

Annas, Julia. (1982). “Aristotle on Inefficient Causes”. The Philosophical Quarterly 32 (129), p. 311–326.

Anscombe, Elizabeth. (1953). “The Principle of Individuation”. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supplement 27(Suppl), p. 83–96.

———. (1957). Intention. London: Basil Blackwell.

———. (1981). “Causality and Determination”. In Collected Philosophical Papers, vol. 2. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.