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.
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- New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2019. X, 280 pp.
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- Table of Contents
- Causes and Becauses
- Things to Keep in Mind
- The Introductory Chapters Introduced
- The Causes in More Detail
- Chapter 1. Aristotle’s Four Causes
- 1.1 Natural Processes
- 1.2 That Out of Which the Thing Comes to Be
- 1.3 What the Thing Comes to Be
- 1.4 Whence the Process Comes to Occur
- 1.5 What the Process Turns Into
- 1.6 Conclusion
- Chapter 2. Two Epistemic Directions of Fit
- 2.1 Archetypes and Ectypes
- 2.2 How to Talk
- 2.3 Sellarsian Sentences
- 2.4 Affection and Function
- 2.5 A Priori Knowledge
- 2.6 Aristotle’s Four Causes
- Chapter 3. Tode, Ti, Toionde
- 3.1 What Is Matter?
- 3.2 The Pale and the Dead Socrates
- 3.3 On Denuding
- 3.4 Tode Ti
- 3.5 The Timaeus
- 3.6 Conclusion
- Chapter 4. The Inseparability of Matter
- 4.1 Matter as Attribute
- 4.2 Matter as Subject
- 4.3 Matter as Potential
- 4.4 Sameness and Difference of Thing and Matter
- 4.5 Alteration vs. Completion
- 4.6 A Note on Material Constitution
- Chapter 5. Types and Classes
- 5.1 Sets and Classes
- 5.2 Polytypic Classes and Clusters
- 5.3 The Type Specimen Method
- 5.4 Two Species Concepts
- 5.5 Standards of Typicality
- 5.6 Conclusion
- Chapter 6. Essences vs. Properties
- 6.1 One Property to Rule Them All
- 6.2 Essence and Explanation
- 6.3 Essences, Properties, and Essential Properties
- 6.4 Sortals and Natural Kinds
- 6.5 Identifying, Classifying, Describing
- 6.6 Another Take on Metaphysics Ζ 13
- Chapter 7. Causation
- 7.1 Causation as a Relation
- 7.2 Hume’s Argument
- 7.3 Water and Suffocation
- 7.4 Three Objections and Replies
- 7.5 Dispositionalism
- 7.6 Conclusion
- Chapter 8. Causal Processes
- 8.1 Causal Processes
- 8.2 “Cause” as a Dimension Word
- 8.3 Aronson’s Formula
- 8.4 A Note on Diagrams
- 8.5 Types and Handles
- 8.6 Conclusion
- Chapter 9. Basic and Derived Final Causes
- 9.1 Final Causes as Limits
- 9.2 The Typical and the Best
- 9.3 Remote Final Causes
- 9.4 External Final Causes
- 9.5 An Example
- 9.6 Reducing Final Causes
- Chapter 10. Teleological Reasoning
- 10.1 The Action as Conclusion
- 10.2 Inference Rules
- 10.3 Mirroring Speculative Reasoning
- 10.4 Natural Teleology
- 10.5 Functions
- 10.6 Conclusion
- The Material Cause
- The Formal Cause
- The Efficient Cause
- The Final Cause
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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.
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