Aristotle was an ancient Greek philosopher born in 384 B.C. He was also a student of Plato as well as the teacher of one of the greatest leaders ever, Alexander the great. He is seen as one of the most prominent and significant founders in the western philosophy. He wrote a great deal of work that included ethics, biology, and physics among other fields. He was indeed versatile with information. It is from all the writings that were assembled later on that were finally given the name metaphysics. All these, however, are referred to as first philosophy according to Aristotle. This majorly involved works that related to nature and their causes.
Aristotle was a bank of knowledge. It is indeed correct that most of the works done by Aristotle are correct and relevant to the current world. This is because; his findings have come out to be the basis of most of the western philosophies. Most of his works are of use as a reference to the current challenges that face the current generation. For instance, they are of use in the fields of medicine; they are also of use in the outlining of ethical barriers and code that lead a given society or community to leaving a peaceful and moral life (Jeremy 2008).
Aristotle being a scientist based his works on experimental analysis thereby having sufficient proofs of all his claims. This, therefore, ensures that his work is much more considered efficient as compared to the works of other philosophers.
For the current generation, ‘causes’ are understandable by the cause- effect notion that is very misleading when it comes to the understanding of Aristotle’s point of view. According to Aristotle, he did not limit because in this manner, however, he viewed it as substances that have causes. This, however, sounds odd. According to Aristotle, there are four causes of things namely; Material cause, Formal cause, efficient cause and Final cause (Joe 270).
First, the formal cause is seen as the human perception of the form of the happening as it moves towards its final form (Joe 274)
For instance, it is the human evaluation of the pattern of a given sequence of changes in the appearance of any given thing. A good example is the changes that occur when an infant is developing into a young adult.
Subsequently, with regard to the efficient cause, Aristotle described this as a human experience on change in terms of what occurred prior to the current state (Joe 276).
For instance, a tree may now be said to be on fire because prior to that it was struck by lightning.
In addition, Aristotle talked of the material cause where he perceived this as a human experience of change when in action. This is because one source of existence is the material of which a thing is made (Joe 280).
A perfect example is the fact that a tree is viewed as a tree because its components are made of wood.
Lastly, there is the final cause that is perceived as the purpose or goal that is served by the change. For instance, it tries to explain something’s end or rather the final shape or effect upon the audience viewing the statue (Joe 287)
These were some of the theories that he came up with to support his view on the works of causality. Aristotle was content with the illustrations that he gave that explained the causality of things. He went further to compare his work with those of his predecessor philosophers, the likes of Socrates and Plato. He criticized most of their work on metaphysics rather than just accepting and welcoming their thoughts. Explained below are some of the thoughts of the earlier people before Aristotle and how they viewed this topic of causality.
According to Plato, his teacher, material objects are changeable and not real in themselves. However, they tend to correspond to a perfect, everlasting, and indisputable form. A form by which only intellect can perceive. According to Plato’s view, there was no teleological element and some of his explanations were mechanistic. For instance, he claimed that something could be termed hot because of the presence of fire in it. According to Plato, everything that is perceived in the entire world is just but a shadow of its true substance form. Thales of Miletus was the first known philosopher in Aristotle’s perception. He rejected the myths and divine explanations on the causes of things. His conclusion was then that the first single cause of all phenomena was moisture or water. He also claimed that the world was a harmonious structure.
Plato also had a theory of forms that he tended to use in the explanation of the cause. According to him, the theory of forms had four aspects (Jeremy 2008).
First was the epistemological aspect that claims that knowledge of the forms is surer than mere sensory data. There is also the ethical aspect that claims that the form of good lays out an objective standard for morality. Moreover, the aspect of time and change that claims that the world and its forms are eternal and unchanging. Lastly is the aspect of abstract objects and mathematics that claim that numbers, as well as, geometric figures occurs independently in the world of forms.
Aristotle did not agree with the previous philosophers views on causality. According to Aristotle, Plato’s theories and ideas were poetic and full of empty words. According to him as a scientist, he preferred to dwell more on the reality of the material world. Plato used more of art to explain the causality rather than use real world references for the same use.
With the information received from this paper, it is thus more efficient to rely on the ideologies of Aristotle before any other philosopher. This is because of his ability to prove himself experimentally as opposed to the other philosophers who used art and theoretical calculations in emerging with their findings and work. This is because it is easier to believe an already proven point rather than believe purported information. This indeed has shown that Aristotle, despite having come out late, has taken control of most of the thoughts, and most of his decisions and works are used for reference on most states and countries. Many people acknowledge Aristotle's existence praising all the work that he did that is of good use. He has also enhanced the improvement of the mental capability by inventing new studies in the field of biology and zoology, such disciplines as epidemiology among others. The world, therefore, must make good use of all this knowledge in the betterment of its lives.
"Aristotle on Causality." STANFORD ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Oct. 2013. <Http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-causality/>.
Kirby, Jeremy. Aristotle's metaphysics form, matter, and identity. London: Continuum, 2008. Print.
Sachs, Joe. Aristotle's metaphysics. Santa Fe, N.M.: Green Lion Press, 1999. Print.