previous next
[1013b] [1] for they all have the end as their object, although they differ from each other as being some instruments, others actions.

These are roughly all the meanings of "cause," but since causes are spoken of with various meanings, it follows that there are several causes (and that not in an accidental sense) of the same thing. E.g., both statuary and bronze are causes of the statue; not in different connections, but qua statue. However, they are not causes in the same way, but the one as material and the other as the source of motion. And things are causes of each other; as e.g. labor of vigor, and vigor of labor—but not in the same way; the one as an end , and the other as source of motion .And again the same thing is sometimes the cause of contrary results; because that which by its presence is the cause of so-and-so we sometimes accuse of being, by its absence, the cause of the contrary—as, e.g., we say that the absence of the pilot is the cause of a capsize, whereas his presence was the cause of safety.And both, presence and privation, are moving causes.

Now there are four senses which are most obvious under which all the causes just described may be classed.The components of syllables; the material of manufactured articles; fire, earth and all such bodies; the parts of a whole; [20] and the premisses of a syllogistic conclusion; are causes in the material sense. Of these some are causes as substrate: e.g. the parts; and others as essence : the whole, and the composition, and the form.The seed and the physician and the contriver and in general that which produces, all these are the source of change or stationariness. The remainder represent the end and good of the others; for the final cause tends to be the greatest good and end of the rest.Let it be assumed that it makes no difference whether we call it "good" or "apparent good." In kind , then, there are these four classes of cause.

The modes of cause are numerically many, although these too are fewer when summarized.For causes are spoken of in many senses, and even of those which are of the same kind, some are causes in a prior and some in a posterior sense; e.g., the physician and the expert are both causes of health; and the ratio 2:1 and number are both causes of the octave; and the universals which include a given cause are causes of its particular effects.Again, a thing may be a cause in the sense of an accident, and the classes which contain accidents; e.g., the cause of a statue is in one sense Polyclitus and in another a sculptor, because it is an accident of the sculptor to be Polyclitus.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Greek (1924)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: