Review of Metaphysics 57 (4):699 - 724 (2004)

Christopher V. Mirus
University of Dallas
IN GENERATION AND CORRUPTION 2.9, Aristotle sets out to give an account of “how many and what are the principles of all coming to be are like.” In doing so, he situates the cause “for the sake of which,” τὸ οὗ ἕρεκα, within a causal nexus familiar to readers of Physics 2. It is constituted by the end—that is, the form produced—by the matter in which it is produced, and by the agent that produces it. In Meteorology 4.12, moreover, he explains that form itself must be understood in terms of the species-typical activities that follow upon its presence and for the sake of which the composite substance exists. He thus recognizes two sorts of ends, form and activity, of which the latter seems to be ultimate. Although form is the immediate end of coming to be, a composite substance exists in the last analysis for the sake of its activity.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph200457443
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