The causa formalis (in German: form cause) is a term used by Aristotle that describes an inner cause. It consists of the form (Greek idea or eidos ), the structure or the pattern that is found in beings. The bronze statue z. B. arises from the fact that the bronze is designed in the shape of the statue .
According to Aristotle, there are four causes in total . The three other (additional) causes are:
Scholastic philosophy often identifies causa formalis with causa exemplaris (the exemplar cause), which is largely identical to the Platonic idea (Greek idea ). The distinction between causa materialis and causa formalis is relative. The bronze itself is composed of a material and a special bronze shape, just as the bronze statue can serve as a material , e.g. B. in the manufacture of jewelry.