David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal of Philosophy 106 (3):137-160 (2009)
I will argue that Aristotle’s fourfold division of four causes naturally arises from a combination of two distinctions (a) between things and changes, and (b) between that which potentially is something and what it potentially is. Within this scheme, what is usually called the “efficient cause” is something that potentially is a certain natural change, and the “final cause” is, at least in a basic sense, what the efficient cause potentially is. I will further argue that the essences of things and changes are not features or attributes of them, but paradigms that set the standards according to which these things and changes may be judged to be natural or typical. The “formal cause” of a natural thing will be shown to be its essence in this sense: it sets the standards of typicality that apply to instances of its kind. The final cause will be shown to set the standard of typicality for natural changes. When we understand Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes in this way, it becomes clear on what basis he could convincingly argue that final causality is operative in the whole of nature.
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Laurence Carlin (2006). Leibniz on Final Causes. Journal of the History of Philosophy 44 (2):217-233.
Jeffrey K. McDonough (2008). Leibniz's Two Realms Revisited. Noûs 42 (4):673-696.
Stephen B. Hawkins (2007). Desire and Natural Classification: Aristotle and Peirce on Final Cause. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (3):521 - 541.
J. Lorch (1961). The Natural System in Biology. Philosophy of Science 28 (3):282-295.
Henrik Lagerlund (2011). The Unity of Efficient and Final Causality: The Mind/Body Problem Reconsidered. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 19 (4):587 - 603.
John Peterson (2004). Are There Final Causes? Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 78:161-167.
Added to index2009-06-05
Total downloads121 ( #10,130 of 1,410,002 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #28,468 of 1,410,002 )
How can I increase my downloads?