Aristotle Wooden Table Analysis

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In order to answer any metaphysical questions it is essential that one looks at Aristotle’s four causes. The four causes help us to better understand what a changing, living thing is. But for the sake of understanding Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes I will discuss the four causes with reference to a wooden table though it is a non-living thing. Aristotle said that there are four things, or “causes”, one can point to in answering why something exists. These four causes are: The Material Cause, The Efficient Cause, The Formal Cause and The Final Cause. I will be using Aristotle’s four causes to aid me in answering the following question: Why does the wooden table exist?
Aristotle’s first cause, The Material Cause, is that of which the object being identified is made of. The wooden table’s Material Cause can be seen as the wood which is used to build the table and thus bringing the table into existence. Without the material (wood) the table is nothing but an idea and cannot ever materialize into an actual wooden table. One could even
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(material cause)
• There was a pattern from which the table could be thought up of. (formal cause)
• The carpenter wanted it to exist and therefore he built it. (essential cause)
• There was a need for the table to perform certain tasks. (final cause)

Through discussing Aristotle’s doctrine of the four causes with reference to a wooden table I have come to the conclusion that when apposed with a metaphysical question involving the reason for the existence of something it is essential that one makes use of Aristotle’s four causes when attempting to come up with a suitable and relevant answer to the question. Aristotle’s four causes are extremely well thought and though when it comes to more in depth metaphysical questions it may become a bit more challenging to apply it, it will certainly serve as a good guide line and starting point to coming up with
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