material cause

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material cause (plural material causes)

  1. (philosophy, natural science) The stuff or matter of which something is made.
    • 1998, R. J. Schork, Greek and Hellenic Culture in Joyce, →ISBN, p. 176 (Google preview):
      In the production of a statue of Athena for the Parthenon, the bronze is the material cause; the shape and design of the statue is the formal cause; the sculptor is the efficient cause; the honor of the goddess (and the glory of Athens) is the final cause.

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