Definition of formal cause in English:

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formal cause

noun

Philosophy
(In Aristotelian thought) the pattern that determines the form taken by something.
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: for·mal cause

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