Formal cause

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the elements of a conception which make the conception or the thing conceived to be what it is; or the idea viewed as a formative principle and coöperating with the matter.
See under Cause.

See also: Cause, Formal

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Gonzalez-Varela argues for a new interpretation of this argument, and shows that it involves two interesting objections against the introduction of forms as formal causes: one concerns the completeness and the other the adequacy of such an explanatory project.
Congar located the Holy Spirit and the hierarchy in both the efficient and formal causes of the church, though in different ways.
You need to be extremely playful if you want to work with formal causes!
On the other hand, others, like Plato, often spoke as if the explanation of all things would be achieved simply by discovering their Forms, or formal causes. The concept of efficient cause did not emerge until the time of Empedocles, who postulated two motive forces, Love (mahabbah) and Strife (ghalabah), to account for the various changes observed everywhere in the universe.
First, I argue that Aristotle thinks that material causes in nature ('material natures') are dependent on formal causes in nature ('formal natures').
Formal causes refer to the mental strategies that influence behavior in human encounters.
Interaction implies same kind of cause, as in interaction between two or more efficient causes, formal causes, etc.
For example, in explaining how formal causes cause, Juarrero holds that they do so not in the way that efficient causes do, "by injecting an external force into a causal chain" (20).
Within the purview of physic are efficient and material causes, while metaphysic studies final and formal causes. This terminology is not particularly helpful.
With the third, we reach formal causes. Scaliger effectively divides these into two parts.
This writer may express the problem, or efficient cause, in one sentence; the subjects and methods combined, that is the material and the formal causes, in a second sentence or so; and the objective results as well as the implications and recommendations, that is the final cause, in several sentences.
However, the second tension shows that Newton conceives laws as formal causes of bodies and forces.

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