Meaning of material cause in English:

material cause


  • (in Aristotelian thought) the matter or substance which constitutes a thing.

    ‘The four aspects are the formal cause, the material cause, the efficient cause, and the final cause.’
    • ‘Furthermore, whatever there is must have pre-existed in its material cause, as material causes cannot create something other than what is there in the first place.’
    • ‘One is the material cause or matter, the physical make-up of the thing, which puts considerable restrictions on what it can be and do.’
    • ‘A cause in this sense has been traditionally called a material cause, although Aristotle himself did not use this label.’
    • ‘The middle term, ‘made of bronze’, expresses the cause of the statue's being, for example, malleable; and because bronze is the constituent stuff of the statue the cause here is the material cause.’