This is the first volume of essays devoted to Aristotelian formal causation and its relevance for contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of science. The essays trace the historical development of formal causation and demonstrate its relevance for contemporary issues, such as causation, explanation, laws of nature, functions, essence, modality, and metaphysical grounding.

The introduction to the volume covers the history of theories of formal causation and points out why we need a theory of formal causation in contemporary philosophy. Part I is concerned with scholastic approaches to formal causation, while Part II presents four contemporary approaches to formal causation. The three chapters in Part III explore various notions of dependence and their relevance to formal causation. Part IV, finally, discusses formal causation in biology and cognitive sciences.

Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation will be of interest to advanced graduate students and researchers working on contemporary Aristotelian approaches to metaphysics and philosophy of science.

This volume includes contributions by José Tomás Alvarado, Christopher J. Austin, Giacomo Giannini, Jani Hakkarainen, Ludger Jansen, Markku Keinänen, Gyula Klima, James G. Lennox, Stephen Mumford, David S. Oderberg, Michele Paolini Paoletti, Sandeep Prasada, Petter Sandstad, Wolfgang Sattler, Benjamin Schnieder, Matthew Tugby, and Jonas Werner.

part I|45 pages

Scholastic Approaches to Formal Causation

chapter 2|21 pages

Form, Intention, Information

From Scholastic Logic to Artificial Intelligence

chapter 3|22 pages

Formal Causation

Accidental and Substantial

part II|86 pages

Contemporary Approaches to Formal Causation

part IV|64 pages

Formal Causation in Biology and Cognitive Sciences

chapter 11|13 pages

Form as Cause and the Formal Cause

Aristotle’s Answer

chapter 12|31 pages

Form, Cause, and Explanation in Biology

A Neo-Aristotelian Perspective