Aristotelian causes are these four: (1) The Efficient Cause.
That which immediately produces the effect. (2) The Material Cause.
The matter on which (1) works.
(3) The Formal Cause. The Essence or “Form” (= group of
attributes) introduced into the matter by the
efficient cause. (4) The Final or Ultimate Cause. The
purpose or end for which the thing exists or the causal change takes
place. But God is called the ultimate Final Cause, since, according to
Aristotle, all things tend, so far as they can, to realise some Divine
God is also called The First Cause, or the Cause Causeless,
beyond which even imagination cannot go.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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