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Mary-Louise Gill, Brown University

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Aristotle claims that the soul is the cause of the living body in three ways—as formal cause, final cause, and moving cause (De Anima 2.4). This paper undertakes to show how the soul operates in those three ways, with a special focus on soul as final cause/end. How does that role relate to or overlap with its roles as formal cause and moving cause? To complicate the picture, on several occasions Aristotle says that there are two ways to be an end: that for the sake of which (goal), and that for the sake of which (beneficiary or user, the meaning is disputed). To complicate matters further, he distinguishes the end—that for the sake of which—from two ways to be for an end, as mover and as tools (GA 2.6). I shall try to put these various claims together and argue that the soul is the final cause of a living thing both as the user of the organic body in living its life and as the goal of the organism’s activities.

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