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Aristotle on physics: Chance and causes

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Susannah R.
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  1. Introduction
  2. The material cause
  3. Formal cause
  4. The last of the causes
  5. Chance and spontenatiety
  6. Conclusion

Aristotle's view of Physics seems to emerge out of the primary question of ?Why?? Similarly, ?Why do things; does anything happen?? I'm aiming to direct my paper more to the philosophy of ?chance?, however to reach that aspect I must first identify the other explanations that Aristotle uses and is certain of.

[...] Aristotle on physics: Chance and causes Aristotle's view of Physics seems to emerge out of the primary question of Similarly, do things; does anything happen?? I'm aiming to direct my paper more to the philosophy of however to reach that aspect I must first identify the other explanations that Aristotle uses and is certain of. To explain he has four causes, or the material cause, the formal cause, the efficient cause, and the final cause. The material cause is that from which a thing comes into existence from its parts or materials. [...]


[...] Aristotle determines that chance and spontenatiety are causes of events, but instead of adding them to the list of four causes, determines that they come about the sake of something? and separates these into natural and deliberate events. An event occurs by chance when it was deliberately planned for the sake of something but occurs directly because of some unanticipated factor. Aristotle sees chance and spontaneity as incidental ?mutations of cause? (so to speak), but not additional causes. Aristotle states that we can only speak of chance in situations where an event was "for the sake of something." To go further Aristotle goes on to discuss natural objects and how necessity occurs in them, but explains this point by referring back to material cause and stating that material cause is to account for the ?natures? of things. [...]

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