Aristotle’s Cause

The Four Causes (Stanford enclyplopedia of philosophy):

  • The material cause: “that out of which”, e.g., the bronze of a statue.
  • The formal cause: “the form”, “the account of what-it-is-to-be”, e.g., the shape of a statue.
  • The efficient cause: “the primary source of the change or rest”, e.g., the artisan, the art of bronze-casting the statue, the man who gives advice, the father of the child.
  • The final cause: “the end, that for the sake of which a thing is done”, e.g., health is the end of walking, losing weight, purging, drugs, and surgical tools.

I am coming to terms with Aristotle’s causes, which are actually, I am sure, just cause in the sense that anyone could be aware of as long as we don’t adhere to our narrowly Defined modern version of cause.

Note that I’m not really sure that I agree with the person who made that entry for the Stanford encyclopedia. It seems that the author of the entry is a little bent in his version; and it concerns me because here is supposedly a scholar at Stanford writing an article about Aristotle’s cause that people are referring to as a sort of standard. And yet they are proposed, he states them from a position of authority as if the questions by which he is inserting his bias is not biased. As Though his insertions are part of the “only” legitimate considerations of cause.

Ill give an examples. This is just out of the first few paragraphs so I’m not gonna go through the whole article here.

“Needless to say, not all why-questions are requests for an explanation that identifies a cause, let alone a cause in the particular sense envisioned by Arostotle.”

I am not sure why his statement is “needless to say”. This “needless to say” imposes upon the reader that if you did not understand the following statement as needless to say, then somehow you’re thinking upon things is naïve or basically incorrect from an essential standpoint. It would’ve been more accurate for him to put in “in my view of the matter it is needless to say”, because this is the Stanford entry concerning Aristotle’s causes and here is this dude putting in the Encyclopedia that it is “needless to say” the following because it is so obvious to anyone who has education and intelligence. ..And this guys getting paid at Stanford. It makes me question The quality of our institutions vetting process.

It is needless to say if my foundation is in modern knowledge, further If my foundation of cause is rooted in our narrow modern definition of cause and yet also understands, somehow, that Aristotle is a modern human being as well.

Philosophically speaking, it appears the scholar who wrote this article… well, as I’ve put in more than a few posts of mine over the years, I’m not sure having letters after a persons name really means that they have intelligence… indeed they may have authority, but that makes me bring into question the Stanford institution itself, like I said. 

ah..but I wanted to say, one of the reasons why I’m getting my masters degree is so people will see my name and I’ll have like five or six letters after my name, and then they’ll think I’m some sort of authority. And so I can enter into the conversation with the rest of the 75% of the people with letters after their names who really just make it there paid job to enforce the modern religion. lol 😁 modern scholasticism…

… Of course, though..we need religion. There cannot be reality without religion and human beings are not able to think about anything without their effective Cosmological/mythological context…



Here is another quote a little further down which I think shows that I am reading too much into Aristotle and my use of causes:

“…he is trying to offer an entirely different type of explanation–namely, an explanation that does not make a reference (implicit or explicit) to these desires, beliefs and intentions…”

While I generally agree with what he saying, the way that it appears that he’s saying it is as though it represents and unreproachable truth that extends over all history and everything that we call human, even if that human being is 2000 years ago. Again, it is this weird self-righteous bent that I find so often that grants support to this idea of the “modern religion” that I keep throwing around. These “scholars” are actually clergy. Making intellectual apologies for the modern religion. They are not concerned with truth as truth, they are only concerned with truth as that which supports the status quo, the mythological cosmology or modernity, for That which in forces and reifies that the theology of the modern religion stays intact. And that’s fine, like I said, in general, society needs religion.


In my other posts, I have stated that I associate the The efficient cause with modernity, but also material, or phenomenalism and materialism.

sometimes I write stuff with an assumption that people can read my mind or they know what I’ve been thinking for the past month or some thing. lol

For in actuality I like the idea that there is a modern form of causality. I draw from Laruelle and others who use the notion of “sufficient philosophy”, what I call “conventional philosophy”. But The idea of sufficiency that I’ve been rolling around with is indeed a description of religious structure.

In the same way that if we were to look at the “structure” of any religion, but here, say, Christianity, we could say that it structure has to do with a good and loving all powerful God who created the universe, its counterpart in the evil Satan or devil. And then the human being is in the middle and given free will to make choices, and hopefully that person will choose to abide by God’s law. The ontological condition of the human being is fallen, sinful, corrupt. The human being merely Needs to make the “good” Choice of either the one choice of believing in Christ, or the on-the- ground daily choices of behaving towards the godly good. The universe and the world is merely a stage where the human being undergoes this play of the soul.

So, I associate efficiency with material. And I’m also finding that I’m associating form with finality (telos). Really, then, the structure of sufficiency is the coupling of “creator and created”, that is, efficiency, and material. The modern religion establishes for our sense, makes for that which has sense, that which gets things done, and that which the getting-done uses to make things. and this With the added component of a visceral and overt, yet sublated, sense of centrality. This is to say, that for the modern congregants, in a manner of speaking, it is sufficient that my experience gathers and presents to me all that is real and true. And what I have “within me subjective” behaves in such a way to be able to “create” the world as I would try to have it out of the “out there and objective” material which is before me apparently and obviously. In another recent post, what is “given” to conventional philosophy is suited to this definition.

What is left out of this fundamental Praxis based given-towards-reality Cosmological mandate, what it resists philosophically, where I could identify as such a philosophical resistance that I encounter everywhere, that I feel that Harmon and the triple-O In counters everywhere or many places at least, is that the structure of this religion (my notions, not Harman’s) is indeed it’s encounters everywhere or many places at least, is that the structure of this religion is indeed it’s form. Further, that this identifiable form, it’s operant, for a term, that I call “modern phenomenal subjectivity” likewise, due to the ability to identify this particular structure of being, evidences its final cause. Its final cause being redundantly –what I have called “redundancy”– in the revealing of its form.

Now, I am just using these tropes, this discourse of causality and then also attaching it to another identity, namely Aristotle, in order to make a point that has to do with truth. That is, it is “not sufficient” to speak about the truth of being Due to it offending the subject of modernity, the truth affects the modern sensibility in such a disruptive psychological manner that its ability to uphold this is society is compromised.

One could even go so far as to begin to entertain the old idea of “the sacred lie”. When we look at what is occurring through this lens, there is hardly any sense ability that fails in this manner that I am putting forth through my work.

Author: landzek

My name is Lance Kair, a philosopher, a counselor and a musician who is being questioned.

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