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 attribute.
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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