Definition of formal cause in English:

formal cause

Line breaks: for¦mal cause

noun

Philosophy
  • (In Aristotelian thought) the pattern which determines the form taken by something.
    More example sentences
    • The four aspects are the formal cause, the material cause, the efficient cause, and the final cause.
    • Aristotle then links essence with his theory of causes, being identified variously with its final cause and with its formal cause.
    • Aristotle, however, does not regard efficient causes as radically different from material and formal causes.

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a powerful whirlpool in the sea