Tuesday, 4 April 2006
Boris Hennig, University of Hamburg, Philosophy
12:05 pm,817R Cathedral of Learning
will argue, on the basis of a systematic reading of Aristotle’s
Physics B3, that final causes are for
natural movements what formal causes are for natural things. As a consequence, final and efficient causality
are complementary in the same sense in which matter and form are;
they are two sides of the same coin.
This means that the final cause of a natural movement
is the typical course that it takes when it is completed. For
elementary processes, the specification of their efficient cause
directly includes a description of their final cause. In the case of complex natural movements,
however, we often know the final cause of a complex movement before
knowing the efficient causes of its more basic parts. In such cases, it may seem that the final
cause is an external purpose or effect that is not matched by a
complementary efficient cause.