Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

Writing the 5 paragraph essay SparkNotes: He also tells us that dialectical premisesdiffer from demonstrative ones in that the former arequestions, whereas the latter are assumptions orassertions: Anyone arguing in this manner will, in order to besuccessful, have to ask for premises which the interlocutor is liableto accept, and the best way to be successful at that is to have aninventory of acceptable premises, i. Subsequently, without expressly reversing his judgment about theexistence of a science of being, Aristotle announces that there isnonetheless a science of being qua being Met.

Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

Introduction Aristotle was not the first person to engage in a causal investigation of the world around us. From the very beginning, and independently of Aristotle, the investigation of the natural world consisted in the search for the relevant causes of a variety of natural phenomena.

Philosophical Issues Surrounding Aristotles Final Cause Essay Sample

Both in the Physics and in the Metaphysics Aristotle places himself in direct continuity with this tradition. At the beginning of the Metaphysics Aristotle offers a concise review of the results reached by his predecessors Metaph. From this review we learn that all his predecessors were engaged in an investigation that eventuated in knowledge of one or more of the following causes: However, Aristotle makes it very clear that all his predecessors merely touched upon these causes Metaph.

That is to say, they did not engage in their causal investigation with a firm grasp of these four causes. They lacked a complete understanding of the range of possible causes and their systematic interrelations.

Put differently, and more boldly, their use of causality was not supported by an adequate theory of causality. According to Aristotle, this explains why their investigation, even when it resulted in important insights, was not entirely successful.

This insistence on the doctrine of the four causes as an indispensable tool for a successful investigation of the world around us explains why Aristotle provides his reader with a general account of the four causes.

Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

That proper knowledge is knowledge of the cause is repeated in the Physics: My hesitation is ultimately due to the fact that not all why-questions are requests for an explanation that identifies a cause, let alone a cause in the particular sense envisioned by Aristotle. This account is general in the sense that it applies to everything that requires an explanation, including artistic production and human action.

Here Aristotle recognizes four types of things that can be given in answer to a why-question: All the four types of causes may enter in the explanation of something. Consider the production of an artifact like a bronze statue. The bronze enters in the explanation of the production of the statue as the material cause.

Note that the bronze is not only the material out of which the statue is made; it is also the subject of change, that is, the thing that undergoes the change and results in a statue. The bronze is melted and poured in order to acquire a new shape, the shape of the statue.

Philosophical issues surrounding aristotles final cause essay

This shape enters in the explanation of the production of the statue as the formal cause. However, an adequate explanation of the production of a statue requires also a reference to the efficient cause or the principle that produces the statue.

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For Aristotle, this principle is the art of bronze-casting the statue Phys. This is mildly surprising and requires a few words of elaboration. There is no doubt that the art of bronze-casting resides in an individual artisan who is responsible for the production of the statue.

But, according to Aristotle, all the artisan does in the production of the statue is the manifestation of specific knowledge. This knowledge, not the artisan who has mastered it, is the salient explanatory factor that one should pick as the most accurate specification of the efficient cause Phys.

By picking the art, not the artisan, Aristotle is not just trying to provide an explanation of the production of the statue that is not dependent upon the desires, beliefs and intentions of the individual artisan; he is trying to offer an entirely different type of explanation; an explanation that does not make a reference, implicit or explicit, to these desires, beliefs and intentions.

More directly, the art of bronze-casting the statue enters in the explanation as the efficient cause because it helps us to understand what it takes to produce the statue; that is to say, what steps are required to produce the statue. But can an explanation of this type be given without a reference to the final outcome of the production, the statue?

A model is made for producing the statue.

Philosophical Issues Surrounding Aristotles Final Cause | Essay Example

A mold is prepared for producing the statue. The bronze is melted and poured for producing the statue.Philosophical Issues Surrounding Aristotles Final Cause Essay Sample What philosophical issues arise around aristotles final cause when applied to human beings?

The final cause according to Aristotle is the purpose for an object, for example, the final purpose of a chair would be to sit.

To understand Aristotle's argument in Physics ii " that "nature [is] among the causes that are for something" (b10), it is first necessary to understand exactly what Aristotle means when he refers to "nature." When Aristotle uses the word, "nature," it "applies to any and all things that are by.

In his writing, Physics, Aristotle gives four causes that are responsible for that which is by nature, with the final cause, the purpose of a thing, being the considered the chief cause.

With this principle in mind, Aristotle ponders what the final causes are for both man and for the state in the Nicomachean Ethics. (A) Describe Aristotle’s teachings about the differences between the Final Cause and the other sorts of cause.

(25 marks) This essay was submitted by a student who scored A grade (30/35) overall. Philosophical Issues Surrounding Aristotles Final Cause What philosophical issues arise around aristotles final cause when applied to human beings? The final cause according to Aristotle is the purpose for an object, for example, the final purpose of a chair would be to sit.

The other causes have only come as products of the Final Cause, showing how important this cause is in Aristotle’s theory. (B) Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of Aristotle’s ideas about cause.

(10 marks) Aristotle’s causation theory is fundamental to most of the works that Aristotle has written.

Essay: Aristotle's Four Causes - Philosophical Investigations