Aristotle was born into a privileged family because his father was the personal physician to the Macedonian king, Amyntas II. (Lindberg 45) Since they were always around royalty and high-status people, Aristotle entered into Plato's Academy in Athens when he was seventeen and stayed there until Plato's death 20 years later. After leaving Plato's Academy, Aristotle traveled and studied for several years in Asia Minor and various islands. His travels brought about many theories, which he would later refine and publish. He came up with a number of important and long-lasting theories that paved the way for future philosophers and physical scientists to draw their own conclusions off as well as improve upon.
[...] His example is that of a chariot: if you construct a chariot from iron and wood, the two of them combined will not yield the nature of a chariot; they will each retain their individual natures- for example, the wood will yield to the strength of the iron. This only applies to the natural world because the organic realm clearly contrasts it, because the parts of an organism is not made up of its parts, rather it is a whole since the human body is not simply the sum of natures of each organ and tissue. If this were the case in the organic world, organisms would be unable to function effectively. [...]
[...] Aristotle begins with the form of the object since that is the most important part of this entire ordeal. The formal cause defines what it is that undergoes the transformation in its physical form. The material cause shows what the matter is which persists through the change in form. It also explains any influence that the matter had on the form to bring about this change. The efficient cause is what actually facilitates the change. The final cause is the purpose served by the change, that is, why did this change occur? [...]
[...] He proceeds to say that change occurs in the form of an object, while the matter remains intact throughout the transition. This can be seen when a rock goes from being dry to being wet. Change occurs, in that the exterior of the object has changed forms, but the matter of the object, the rock, remains the same as it was before the change. This is an example of a change from privation (what is there before the transformation) to the intended form (end result). [...]
[...] The final cause, he believed, took priority over the other causes because there really is no point to investigate a change if you don't know the purpose of the change. He further argues that the final cause actually shapes the material cause, since, in a way, the purpose dictates what something is created from. This gives merit to the age-old adage of “form follows function”, for example, a spoons function is to bring liquid to the mouth. Therefore, the form should be something that facilitates it, thus the curved shape. [...]
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