The four causes or four explanations are, in Aristotelian thought
, four fundamental types of answer to the question "why?", in
Analysis ( : analyses) is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique has been applied in the study of mathematics and logic since before Aristotle (384 ...
of change or movement in nature: the material
, the formal
, the efficient
, and the
Final, Finals or The Final may refer to:
*Final (competition), the last or championship round of a sporting competition, match, game, or other contest which decides a winner for an event
** Another term for playoffs, describing a sequence of cont ...
Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher and polymath during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. Taught by Plato, he was the founder of the Peripatetic school of ...
wrote that "we do not have knowledge of a thing until we have grasped its why, that is to say, its cause."
[" r a full range of cases, an explanation which fails to invoke all four causes is no explanation at all."—Falcon, Andrea. 0062019.]
Four Causes , Aristotle on Causality
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
The ''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' (''SEP'') combines an online encyclopedia of philosophy with peer-reviewed publication of original papers in philosophy, freely accessible to Internet users. It is maintained by Stanford University. ...''.
While there are cases in which classifying a "cause" is difficult, or in which "causes" might merge, Aristotle held that his four "causes" provided an analytical scheme of general applicability.
Aristotle's word ''aitia'' () has, in philosophical scholarly tradition, been translated as 'cause'. This peculiar, specialized, technical, usage of the word 'cause' is not that of everyday English language. Rather, the translation of Aristotle's that is nearest to current ordinary language is "explanation."
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which re ...
'' II.3 and ''
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consci ...
'' V.2, Aristotle holds that there are four kinds of answers to "why" questions:
["Aristotle famously distinguishes four 'causes' (or causal factors in explanation), the matter, the form, the end, and the agent."
Hankinson, R. J. 1998. ''Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought''. Oxford: ] Oxford University Press
Oxford University Press (OUP) is the university press of the University of Oxford. It is the largest university press in the world, and its printing history dates back to the 1480s. Having been officially granted the legal right to print books .... p. 159. . .
;Matter: The material cause of a change or movement. This is the aspect of the change or movement that is determined by the material that composes the moving or changing things. For a table, this might be wood; for a statue, it might be bronze or marble.
;Form: The formal cause of a change or movement. This is a change or movement caused by the arrangement, shape, or appearance of the thing changing or moving. Aristotle says, for example, that the ratio 2:1, and number in general, is the formal cause of the octave
;Agent: The efficient or moving cause of a change or movement. This consists of things apart from the thing being changed or moved, which interact so as to be an agency of the change or movement. For example, the efficient cause of a table is a carpenter, or a person working as one, and according to Aristotle the efficient cause of a child is a parent.
;End, or purpose: The final cause of a change or movement. This is a change or movement for the sake of a thing to be what it is. For a seed, it might be an adult plant; for a sailboat, it might be sailing; for a ball at the top of a ramp, it might be coming to rest at the bottom.
The four "causes" are not mutually exclusive. For Aristotle, several, preferably four, answers to the question "why" have to be given to explain a phenomenon and especially the actual configuration of an object. For example, if asking why a table is such and such, an explanation in terms of the four causes would sound like this: This table is solid and brown because it is made of wood (matter); it does not collapse because it has four legs of equal length (form); it is as it is because a carpenter made it, starting from a tree (agent); it has these dimensions because it is to be used by humans (end).
Definition of "cause"
In his philosophical writings, Aristotle used the
Greek may refer to:
Anything of, from, or related to Greece, a country in Southern Europe:
*Greeks, an ethnic group.
*Greek language, a branch of the Indo-European language family.
**Proto-Greek language, the assumed last common ancestor ...
''), a neuter singular form
In linguistics, an adjective ( abbreviated ) is a word that generally modifies a noun or noun phrase or describes its referent. Its semantic role is to change information given by the noun.
Traditionally, adjectives were considered one of the m ...
. The Greek word had meant, perhaps originally in a "
Law is a set of rules that are created and are enforceable by social or governmental institutions to regulate behavior,Robertson, ''Crimes against humanity'', 90. with its precise definition a matter of longstanding debate. It has been vari ...
" context, what or who is " responsible
," mostly but not always in a bad sense of "guilt" or "blame." Alternatively, it could mean "to the credit of" someone or something. The appropriation of this word by Aristotle and other philosophers reflects how the Greek experience of legal practice influenced the concern in Greek thought to determine ''what'' is responsible.
[ Lloyd, G. E. R. 1996. "Causes and correlations." In ''Adversaries and authorities: Investigations into ancient Greek and Chinese science'', Cambridge: ] Cambridge University Press
Cambridge University Press is the university press of the University of Cambridge. Granted letters patent by King Henry VIII in 1534, it is the oldest university press in the world. It is also the King's Printer.
Cambridge University Pres .... .
The word developed other meanings, including its use in philosophy in a more abstract sense.
About a century before Aristotle, the anonymous author of the Hippocratic
On Ancient Medicine
The treatise ''On Ancient Medicine'' ( el, Περὶ Ἀρχαίας Ἰατρικῆς; Latin: De vetere medicina) is perhaps the most intriguing and compelling work of the Hippocratic Corpus. The Corpus itself is a collection of about sixty wri ...
'' had described the essential characteristics of a cause as it is considered in medicine:
We must, therefore, consider the causes of each edicalcondition to be those things which are such that, when they are present, the condition necessarily occurs, but when they change to another combination, it ceases.
Aristotle's "four causes"
Aristotle used the four causes to provide different answers to the question, "because of what?" The four answers to this question illuminate different aspects of how a thing comes into being or of how an event takes place.
Aristotle considers the material "cause" ()
of an object as equivalent to the nature of the raw material out of which the object is composed. (The word "nature" for Aristotle applies to both its potential in the raw material and its ultimate finished form. In a sense this form already existed in the material: see
potentiality and actuality
In philosophy, potentiality and actuality are a pair of closely connected principles which Aristotle used to analyze motion, causality, ethics, and physiology in his ''Physics'', ''Metaphysics'', ''Nicomachean Ethics'', and ''De Anima''.
The c ...
Whereas modern physics looks to simple bodies, Aristotle's physics took a more general viewpoint, and treated living things as exemplary. Nevertheless, he felt that simple natural bodies such as earth, fire, air, and water also showed signs of having their own innate sources of motion, change, and rest. Fire, for example, carries things upwards, unless stopped from doing so. Things formed by human artifice, such as beds and cloaks, have no innate tendency to become beds or cloaks.
In traditional Aristotelian philosophical terminology, material is not the same as
Substance may refer to:
* Matter, anything that has mass and takes up space
* Chemical substance, a material with a definite chemical composition
* Drug substance
** Substance abuse, drug-related healthcare and social policy diagnosis ...
. Matter has parallels with substance in so far as primary matter serves as the substratum for simple bodies which are not substance: sand and rock (mostly earth), rivers and seas (mostly water), atmosphere and wind (mostly air and then mostly fire below the moon). In this traditional terminology, 'substance' is a term of
In metaphysics, ontology is the philosophical study of being, as well as related concepts such as existence, becoming, and reality.
Ontology addresses questions like how entities are grouped into categories and which of these entities ex ...
, referring to really existing things; only individuals are said to be substances (subjects) in the primary sense. Secondary substance, in a different sense, also applies to man-made artifacts.
Aristotle considers the formal "cause" ()
[ as describing the pattern or form which when present makes matter into a particular type of thing, which we recognize as being of that particular type.
By Aristotle's own account, this is a difficult and controversial ] concept
Concepts are defined as abstract ideas. They are understood to be the fundamental building blocks of the concept behind principles, thoughts and beliefs.
They play an important role in all aspects of cognition. As such, concepts are studied by se .... It links with theories of forms such as those of Aristotle's teacher, Plato
Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was a Greek philosopher born in Athens during the Classical period in Ancient Greece. He founded the Platonist school of thought and the Academy, the first institution ..., but in Aristotle's own account (see his '' Metaphysics
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consci ...''), he takes into account many previous writers who had expressed opinions about forms and ideas, but he shows how his own views differ from them.
Aristotle defines the agent or efficient "cause" ()
[ of an object as that which causes change and drives transient motion (such as a painter painting a house) (see Aristotle, Physics II 3, 194b29). In many cases, this is simply the thing that brings something about. For example, in the case of a statue, it is the person chiseling away which transforms a block of marble into a statue. Only this one of the four causes is like what an ordinary English-speaker would regard as a cause.
Aristotle defines the end, purpose, or final "cause" ()
[ as that for the sake of which a thing is done. Like the form, this is a controversial type of explanation in science; some have argued for its survival in ] evolutionary biology
Evolutionary biology is the subfield of biology that studies the evolutionary processes (natural selection, common descent, speciation) that produced the diversity of life on Earth. It is also defined as the study of the history of life fo ..., while Ernst Mayr
Ernst Walter Mayr (; 5 July 1904 – 3 February 2005) was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists. He was also a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, philosopher of biology, and historian of science. His ... denied that it continued to play a role. It is commonly recognised that Aristotle's conception of nature is teleological in the sense that Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is the physical world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. Although humans are p ... exhibits functionality in a more general sense than is exemplified in the purposes that humans have. Aristotle observed that a ''telos'' does not necessarily involve deliberation, intention, consciousness, or intelligence:
According to Aristotle, a seed has the eventual adult plant as its end (i.e., as its '' telos'') if and only if the seed would become the adult plant under normal circumstances. In ''Physics'' II.9, Aristotle hazards a few arguments that a determination of the end (i.e., final cause) of a phenomenon is more important than the others. He argues that the end is that which brings it about, so for example "if one defines the operation of sawing as being a certain kind of dividing, then this cannot come about unless the saw has teeth of a certain kind; and these cannot be unless it is of iron." According to Aristotle, once a final "cause" is in place, the material, efficient and formal "causes" follow by necessity. However, he recommends that the student of nature determine the other "causes" as well, and notes that not all phenomena have an end, e.g., chance events.
Aristotle saw that his biological investigations provided insights into the causes of things, especially into the final cause:
George Holmes Howison
George Holmes Howison (29 November 1834 – 31 December 1916) was an American philosopher who established the philosophy department at the University of California, Berkeley and held the position there of Mills Professor of Intellectual and Moral ... highlights "final causation" in presenting his theory of metaphysics, which he terms "personal idealism", and to which he invites not only man, but all (ideal) life:
However, Edward Feser
Edward C. Feser (; born April 16, 1968) is an American Catholic philosopher. He is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Pasadena City College in Pasadena, California.
Feser holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Californi ... argues, in line with the Aristotelian and Thomistic
Thomism is the philosophical and theological school that arose as a legacy of the work and thought of Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), the Dominican philosopher, theologian, and Doctor of the Church. In philosophy, Aquinas' disputed question ... tradition, that finality has been greatly misunderstood. Indeed, without finality, efficient causality becomes inexplicable. Finality thus understood is not purpose but that end towards which a thing is ordered.
When a match is rubbed against the side of a matchbox, the effect is not the appearance of an elephant or the sounding of a drum, but fire.
The effect is not arbitrary because the match is ordered towards the end of fire which is realized through efficient causes. In their theoretical study of organism, more specifically propagating organisation of process, Kauffman ''et al.'' (2008) remark:
In his '' Advancement of Learning'' (1605),
Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St Alban (; 22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626), also known as Lord Verulam, was an English philosopher and statesman who served as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. Bacon led the advancement of both ... wrote that natural science "doth make inquiry, and take consideration of the same natures : but how? Only as to the material and efficient causes of them, and not as to the forms." Using the terminology of Aristotle, Bacon demands that, apart from the " laws of nature" themselves, the causes relevant to natural science
Science is a systematic endeavor that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
Science may be as old as the human species, and some of the earliest archeological evidence ... are only efficient cause
The four causes or four explanations are, in Aristotelian thought, four fundamental types of answer to the question "why?", in analysis of change or movement in nature: the material, the formal, the efficient, and the final. Aristotle wrote t ...s and material cause
The four causes or four explanations are, in Aristotelian thought, four fundamental types of answer to the question "why?", in analysis of change or movement in nature: the material, the formal, the efficient, and the final. Aristotle wrote th ...s, or, to use the formulation which became famous later, natural phenomena require scientific explanation in terms of matter and motion.
In '' The New Organon'', Bacon divides knowledge into physics
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which re ... and metaphysics
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consci ...:
From the two kinds of axioms which have been spoken of arises a just division of philosophy and the sciences, taking the received terms (which come nearest to express the thing) in a sense agreeable to my own views. Thus, let the investigation of forms, which are (in the eye of reason at least, and in their essential law) eternal and immutable, constitute
Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the fundamental nature of reality, the first principles of being, identity and change, space and time, causality, necessity, and possibility. It includes questions about the nature of consci ...; and let the investigation of the efficient cause, and of matter, and of the latent process, and the latent configuration (all of which have reference to the common and ordinary course of nature, not to her eternal and fundamental laws) constitute Physics
Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that department of knowledge which re .... And to these let there be subordinate two practical divisions: to Physics, Mechanics; to Metaphysics, what (in a purer sense of the word) I call Magic, on account of the broadness of the ways it moves in, and its greater command over nature.
Explanations in terms of final causes remain common in evolutionary biology.
[ Ayala, Francisco. 1998. "Teleological explanations in evolutionary biology." ''Nature's Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology''. ] MIT Press
The MIT Press is a university press affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts (United States). It was established in 1962.
The MIT Press traces its origins back to 1926 when MIT publis .... Francisco J. Ayala
Francisco José Ayala Pereda (born March 12, 1934) is a Spanish- American evolutionary biologist, philosopher, and former Catholic priest who was a longtime faculty member at the University of California, Irvine and University of California, ... has claimed that teleology is indispensable to biology
Biology is the scientific study of life. It is a natural science with a broad scope but has several unifying themes that tie it together as a single, coherent field. For instance, all organisms are made up of cells that process hereditary ... since the concept of adaptation
In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process of natural selection that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the p ... is inherently teleological. In an appreciation of Charles Darwin
Charles Robert Darwin ( ; 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, widely known for his contributions to evolutionary biology. His proposition that all species of life have descended f ... published in '' Nature
Nature, in the broadest sense, is the physical world or universe. "Nature" can refer to the phenomena of the physical world, and also to life in general. The study of nature is a large, if not the only, part of science. Although humans are p ...'' in 1874, Asa Gray noted "Darwin's great service to Natural Science" lies in bringing back Teleology "so that, instead of Morphology ''versus'' Teleology, we shall have Morphology wedded to Teleology." Darwin quickly responded, "What you say about Teleology pleases me especially and I do not think anyone else has ever noticed the point." Francis Darwin
Sir Francis "Frank" Darwin (16 August 1848 – 19 September 1925) was a British botanist. He was the third son of the naturalist and scientist Charles Darwin.
Francis Darwin was born in Down House, Downe, Kent in 1848. He was the ... and T. H. Huxley reiterate this sentiment. The latter wrote that "the most remarkable service to the philosophy of Biology rendered by Mr. Darwin is the reconciliation of Teleology and Morphology, and the explanation of the facts of both, which his view offers." James G. Lennox states that Darwin uses the term 'Final Cause' consistently in his ''Species Notebook'', '' On the Origin of Species
''On the Origin of Species'' (or, more completely, ''On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life''),The book's full original title was ''On the Origin of Species by Me ...'', and after.
Contrary to the position described by Francisco J. Ayala
Francisco José Ayala Pereda (born March 12, 1934) is a Spanish- American evolutionary biologist, philosopher, and former Catholic priest who was a longtime faculty member at the University of California, Irvine and University of California, ..., Ernst Mayr
Ernst Walter Mayr (; 5 July 1904 – 3 February 2005) was one of the 20th century's leading evolutionary biologists. He was also a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, philosopher of biology, and historian of science. His ... states that "adaptedness... is '' a posteriori
("from the earlier") and ("from the later") are Latin phrases used in philosophy to distinguish types of knowledge, justification, or argument by their reliance on empirical evidence or experience. knowledge is independent from current ex ...'' result rather than an a priori
("from the earlier") and ("from the later") are Latin phrases used in philosophy to distinguish types of knowledge, justification, or argument by their reliance on empirical evidence or experience. knowledge is independent from current ex ... goal-seeking." Various commentators view the teleological phrases used in modern evolutionary biology as a type of shorthand. For example, S. H. P. Madrell writes that "the proper but cumbersome way of describing change by evolutionary adaptation ay besubstituted by shorter overtly teleological statements" for the sake of saving space, but that this "should not be taken to imply that evolution proceeds by anything other than from mutations arising by chance, with those that impart an advantage being retained by natural selection." However, Lennox states that in evolution as conceived by Darwin, it is true both that evolution is the result of mutations arising by chance and that evolution is teleological in nature.
Statements that a species does something "in order to" achieve survival are teleological. The validity or invalidity of such statements depends on the species and the intention of the writer as to the meaning of the phrase "in order to." Sometimes it is possible or useful to rewrite such sentences so as to avoid teleology. Some biology courses have incorporated exercises requiring students to rephrase such sentences so that they do not read teleologically. Nevertheless, biologists still frequently write in a way which can be read as implying teleology even if that is not the intention.
Animal behaviour (Tinbergen's four questions)
Tinbergen's four questions, named after the
Ethology is the scientific study of animal behaviour, usually with a focus on behaviour under natural conditions, and viewing behaviour as an evolutionarily adaptive trait. Behaviourism as a term also describes the scientific and object ... Nikolaas Tinbergen
Nikolaas "Niko" Tinbergen (; ; 15 April 1907 – 21 December 1988) was a Dutch biologist and ornithologist who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Karl von Frisch and Konrad Lorenz for their discoveries concerning the or ... and based on Aristotle's four causes, are complementary categories of explanations for animal behaviour. They are also commonly referred to as levels of analysis.
The four questions are on: [Hladký, Vojtěch, and Jan Havlíček. 2013.]
# function, what an
Was Tinbergen an Aristotelian? Comparison of Tinbergen's Four Whys and Aristotle's Four Causes
" ''Human Ethology Bulletin'' 28(4):3–11.
In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process of natural selection that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the p ... does that is selected for in evolution
Evolution is change in the heredity, heritable Phenotypic trait, characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. These characteristics are the Gene expression, expressions of genes, which are passed on from parent to ...;
A phylogenetic tree (also phylogeny or evolutionary tree Felsenstein J. (2004). ''Inferring Phylogenies'' Sinauer Associates: Sunderland, MA.) is a branching diagram or a tree showing the evolutionary relationships among various biological sp ..., the evolutionary history of an organism
In biology, an organism () is any living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are composed of cells ( cell theory). Organisms are classified by taxonomy into groups such as multicellular animals, plants, and ..., revealing its relationships to other species;
Mechanism may refer to:
* Mechanism (engineering), rigid bodies connected by joints in order to accomplish a desired force and/or motion transmission
* Mechanism (biology), explaining how a feature is created
* Mechanism (philosophy), a theory tha ..., namely the proximate cause of a behaviour, such as the role of testosterone
Testosterone is the primary sex hormone and anabolic steroid in males. In humans, testosterone plays a key role in the development of male reproductive tissues such as testes and prostate, as well as promoting secondary sexual characteristic ... in aggression
Aggression is overt or covert, often harmful, social interaction with the intention of inflicting damage or other harm upon another individual; although it can be channeled into creative and practical outlets for some. It may occur either reacti ...; and
Ontogeny (also ontogenesis) is the origination and development of an organism (both physical and psychological, e.g., moral development), usually from the time of fertilization of the egg to adult. The term can also be used to refer to the stu ..., the development of an organism from egg to embryo to adult.
Technology (Heidegger's four causes)
In '' The Question Concerning Technology'', echoing Aristotle,
Martin Heidegger (; ; 26 September 188926 May 1976) was a German philosopher who is best known for contributions to phenomenology, hermeneutics, and existentialism. He is among the most important and influential philosophers of the 20th cent ... describes the four causes as follows:
#''causa materialis'': the material or matter
#''causa formalis'': the form or shape the material or matter enters
#''causa finalis'': the end
#''causa efficiens'': the effect that brings about the finished result.
Heidegger explains that " oever builds a house or a ship or forges a sacrificial chalice reveals what is to be brought forth, according to the terms of the four modes of occasioning."
Education is a purposeful activity directed at achieving certain aims, such as transmitting knowledge or fostering skills and character traits. These aims may include the development of understanding, rationality, kindness, and honesty. Vari ... David Waddington comments that although the efficient cause, which he identifies as "the craftsman," might be thought the most significant of the four, in his view each of Heidegger's four causes is "equally co-responsible" for producing a craft item, in Heidegger's terms "bringing forth" the thing into existence. Waddington cites Lovitt's description of this bringing forth as "a unified process."
The anthropic principle, also known as the "observation selection effect", is the hypothesis, first proposed in 1957 by Robert Dicke, that there is a restrictive lower bound on how statistically probable our observations of the universe are, bec ...
Biosemiotics (from the Greek βίος ''bios'', "life" and σημειωτικός ''sēmeiōtikos'', "observant of signs") is a field of semiotics and biology that studies the prelinguistic meaning-making, biological interpretation processes, p ...
Causality (also referred to as causation, or cause and effect) is influence by which one event, process, state, or object (''a'' ''cause'') contributes to the production of another event, process, state, or object (an ''effect'') where the ca ...
* Convergent evolution
Convergent evolution is the independent evolution of similar features in species of different periods or epochs in time. Convergent evolution creates analogous structures that have similar form or function but were not present in the last com ...
* Four discourses, by Jacques Lacan
* Proximate and ultimate causation
A proximate cause is an event which is ''closest'' to, or immediately responsible for causing, some observed result. This exists in contrast to a higher-level ultimate cause (or ''distal cause'') which is usually thought of as the "real" reason ...
Socrates (; ; –399 BC) was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy and among the first moral philosophers of the ethical tradition of thought. An enigmatic figure, Socrates authored no ...
* The purpose of a system is what it does, Anthony Stafford Beer's POSIWID principle
* Cohen, Marc S
"The Four Causes"
(Lecture Notes) Accessed March 14, 2006.
* Falcon, Andrea
Aristotle on Causality
(link to section labeled "Four Causes"). ''Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'' 2008.
* Hennig, Boris. "The Four Causes." Journal of Philosophy 106(3), 2009, 137–60.
* Moravcsik, J.M. "Aitia as generative factor in Aristotle's philosophy." Dialogue, 14 : pp 622–638, 1975.
* English translation o
Study on Phideas
by Pía Figueroa written with theme of Final Cause as per Aristotle.
The Consequences of Ideas: Understanding the Concepts that Shaped Our World, By R. C. Sproul
Aristotle on definition. By Marguerite Deslauriers, page 81
Philosophy in the ancient world: an introduction. By James A. Arieti. p. 201.
Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian Metaphysics. By Joseph Owens and Etienne Gilson.
Aitia as generative factor in Aristotle's philosophy*
A Compass for the Imagination, by Harold C. Morris. Philosophy thesis elaborates on Aristotle's Theory of the Four Causes. Washington State University, 1981.
Philosophy of Aristotle
Concepts in metaphysics