The purpose or aim of an action or the end towards which a thing naturally develops.
- Particularly at issue in the exegesis of Darwin's text was whether he considered natural selection to be an efficient cause, a final cause, a result of other causes, or a simple description of the working of several independent factors.
- It cannot be the final cause since a final cause perfects a thing, but does not establish it in being, which is what the agent intellect does for the soul.
- The four aspects are the formal cause, the material cause, the efficient cause, and the final cause.
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