PHILOS 2P03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Anthropocentrism

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The material cause: that from which something is constituted (e. g. the bronze or stone of a statue) The formal cause: the account of the essence, the what-it-is-to-be a thing of that kind (in the case of artifacts such as statues, the shape) The efficient cause: the source of motion, the initiator or producer (e. g. the sculptor) The final cause: the end or goal, that for the sake of which something is or was made (e. g. commemoration) The purpose, end or goal of a thing that for the sake of which it is as it is is its final cause: purpose or goal. Aristotle held that there are final causes in nature, and that scientific understanding requires discovering them. Explanations in terms of what a thing is for are called teleological explanations (from the greek term telos, meaning end or goal ).

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