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shortpaper1 - Heather Fackelman Great Books and Ideas...

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Heather Fackelman December 10, 2007 Great Books and Ideas Professor Chang Aristotle Aristotle, in an effort to identify exactly how matter is created by ideas, founded the notion of the Four Causes. These are the material cause, the formal cause, the efficient cause, and the final cause. Each cause addresses different aspects of ideas. The material cause explains of what any given form of matter is made. It takes into account a thing’s constituents or materials, and reduces the matter’s structure. The formal cause explains what any given thing is, and that is established by its form, definition, or prototype. The efficient cause tells us what action is causing matter to exist. It explains what events happen in the making of any given thing. The final cause answers the question why. It explains a thing’s purpose and the end to which it serves. These four causes explain and break down matter as we know it. The hierarchy of souls explains the different elements of human nature and accounts for each part of the soul to be assigned to one part of human life.
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