Notions of cause
Aristotle's four notions of cause explained with reference to a house. (from Daly & Cobb,
- Material cause: the lumber, bricks, and so forth from which the house is made.
- Efficient cause: the carpenter and his tools, which effect a change of form in the
- Formal cause: the blueprint that the carpenter is following.
- Final cause: the purpose for building the house - eg. shelter and privacy.
Causation in biology (from Mayr, 1997, pp.66-71)
- Causation in biology can take place through long chains of interaction leading to
a final action. "causation in complex situations is an a posteriori reconstruction, or
to put if differently, causation consists of a series of steps which, taken together, can
be called the cause (ibid., pp.66-67)
- Ultimate and proximate causations
- Ultimate causations
- Proximate causations
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