Efficient Cause

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Related to efficient causes: Formal cause

Efficient Cause

That which actually precipitates an accident or injury.

The term efficient cause is frequently used interchangeably with proximate cause—the immediate act in the production of a particular effect—or the cause that sets the others in operation.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In the light of the following passage, however, Gill suggests that it is an agent or an efficient cause that ultimately imposes a goal-directedness or an intrinsic direction upon a change by transmitting a form to the patient:
'This final reaction completes the self-creative unity by putting the decisive stamp of creative emphasis upon the determination of efficient cause. Each occasion exhibits its measure of creative emphasis in proportion to its measure of subjective intensity.
(Selected 80) (7) The natural laws of the physical world, the efficient causes, are placed side by side with the fantastic laws, the teleological causes.
As the efficient causes of growth are a series of natural propensities or instincts, speaking somewhat imprecisely, one can say that the instincts are the secret, efficient causes (actually they are one step removed from the efficient causes) of several ends of human nature.
In Kleer's account of the teleological machinery, instincts are the efficient causes that mechanically bring about the providential final causes(s).
If there are sensible things which are caused by another, then either there is an infinite regress of caused efficient causes, or there is an uncaused first efficient cause.
Firstly, it leads to the exclusion of evaluative judgements; secondly, it leads to a reluctance to consider purposiveness in human behaviour, to the replacement of final by efficient causes; and thirdly, it leads to a conception of truth as whatever can be established by empirical verification alone, without reference to moral and aesthetic values.
Fourth, Evnine provides a sketch of his own hylomorphic theory, which he calls "amorphic hylomorphism," a theory according to which there are often cases such that some material object x is the matter of a different material object y, where there exists a unity of formal, final, and efficient causes in y, but y is not composed of x and a form (or some substitute for form).
Where scientific explanation for Aristotle's medieval followers emphasized formal and final causality and typically invoked incorporeal agents as explanatory hypotheses, the new science reverted to and revised the creed of the ancient atomists, who held that every natural phenomenon could be explained fully in terms of efficient causes and contact action between particles of matter.
Place, likewise, is an irreducible and essential feature of the meteorological phenomena, for all that its fundamental principles arise out of the material and the efficient causes. Admittedly the distinction among the upper places can be explained by the differences in material.
Descartes deemed God and human minds efficient causes of states of affairs.
The condition for the human is the freedom of an autonomous subject independent of the impact of efficient causes from above and finality from within, which thus discards the notion of a human nature possessing a determining form (chap.

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