Read these two essays and answer the following questions.
#1 The Four Causes of A Car
According to James Hillman s Kind of Power: A Guide to Its Intelligent Uses, Aristotle points out four different ways to the question why. All of the ways take form in causes which are efficient cause, material cause, formal cause, and final cause. The material cause is that from which a thing comes to be. The formal cause is the form and pattern of the thing. The efficient cause is the source of the primary change or stability in a thing. Last but not the least, final cause comes about to the ending of a thing and takes its final look.
Back in the day s people had no clue of what cars, trucks or buses were in those days they would uses horses, wagons or simply walk to get to their destination. The world has seen so many changes as the years have gone by. In this essay, I will be talking about the four causes of an automobile. I will elaborate on the four types of causes, i.e. efficient, material, formal and final.
What is the material cause of an automobile? The material cause of an automobile is basically the material which is used to make the car. For example, the metal, glass, plastic, rubber and other materials which are needed to construct the car fall in the category of the material cause. These are all the important things which are needed to make the car.
As is true with any product, cars also come with several advantages and disadvantages. Unfortunately, in order to fulfill the material cause of a car, the car manufacturing companies have intentionally or unintentionally, caused a major harm to the environment. In order to produce the chemicals and all the materials used in the cars, our environment is being polluted and the waste that comes out of the car manufacturing factories is dumped in to rivers and seas and is affecting the life under water. The smog that comes out from the cars, has left us with a hole in ozone layer which protects the earth from the dangerous ultraviolet rays of sun. For sure, at one hand cars are making our lives easier at one hand but jeopardizing the future of our children, who will inherit a dirty and polluted planet.
What is the efficient cause of an automobile? The efficient cause of an automobile is the Car manufacturing company, for instance Volkswagen, who designs the aerodynamics and electronics in the car and manufactures and assembles the cars and they make sure that each component works as efficiently as possible. There are many computers, electrical, mechanical and chemical engineers involved in the design and manufacturing process as well as the menial labor workers who make the car assembly possible. They make sure that all of the components mentioned above generate revenue for the car company and turn these revenues into profits.
The efficient cause, while on one hand keeps many employed but also encourages the company s executives to cut corners and take short cuts for maximizing the profits and to keep their investors happy. This factor has been a cause of many car accidents and casualties. However, with government enforcing more and more regulations, the safety factor has been kind of secured with the inspectors auditing the car companies and making sure that they are following the government regulated policies properly.
What is the formal cause? The formal cause of an automobile is when I get to write about Karl Benz. People have different opinion but if someone asked me, I would say that he was the one to invent the first true automobile in 1885. They were steam, electric, gasoline automobiles and people did not have to rely on horse and covered wagons when the automobiles were invented. Some people also say it was Leonardo Da Vinci who started to create models and designs of transport vehicles. So basically the formal cause is when a person or an idea comes about to takes its particular existence.
These all were means that were created or designed to be used as a means of transportation. Transportation means come into limelight especially in today s world where the companies totally depend on the transportation means to do business. Some merely use the cars to commute to their work and some actually use them to transport goods to other places and some use them as to earn their livelihood by racing against other cars.
What is the final cause of an automobile? The final cause of an automobile is when it is sell to a manufacturer company completely made with absolute colors and all the essentials needs the seats, steering wheel etc.
While cars were initially designed to be a mode of communication and transportation, but the designers thought what good is it going to provide if it is not user friendly and if it is not aesthetic. Therefore, the modern cars have all the luxuries and amenities that one could think of, be it air conditioning, heating, aesthetic colors and designs or a status symbol. Some people have gone as far as making the cars from gold and silver in order for them to be attractive. The companies are now investing and researching on having cars that will not require drivers and would be smart enough to take the passenger to their destination by just inputting data into GPS of the car. In essence, people just don t want to drive cars that are merely used as a means of transportation but something that they enjoy riding and showing off.
Finally, I think, while the advantages of cars are countless and needless to mention again and again, it is also important that we address the dark side in getting to all those amenities that are provided with cars that we have mentioned in this essay, the most important one of all being the conservation of our environment. As mentioned earlier, from the manufacturing process of a car to a car being on the road damages the environment immensely and I believe this can be controlled if the respective governments impose stricter laws and regulation on the car manufacturing companies to process their waste before they dump it into rivers and seas and also by people being more responsible by taking good care of their cars that would prevent smog generation.
In the BODY of the essay, is it clear how each paragraph connects to the theme or thesis of the essay? How? Is the author’s explanation of the Four Causes clear? Does she or he accurately identify how the Final, Formal, Efficient, and Material Causes apply to their field of industry? Does the author then move on to show how his or her area of industry has made the efficiency principle the bottom line, and what the cost of that move has been to humanity and the health of the planet? If not, what’s missing? Are there enough specific examples? If not, where are more required? In the main section of the essay, does the author successfully show how his or her industry, such as tobacco products, fast food restaurants, oil companies, Hollywood film studios, HMO’s, etc., would transform if instead of having efficiency as their bottom line, they balanced their approach by giving equal important to the other three Causes? Is the discussion balanced, and is each Cause given equal weight? Does the picture that emerges satisfy you in its completeness? Does the CONCLUSION give you a feeling of completeness and closure? What are two seriously positive qualities of this essay? Give the author two strong suggestions that would help this be a better essay. (about 400 words)
#2 Money, Money, Money
Many often ask the question why. However, how do we exactly answer that question? According to James Hillman s Kind of Power: A Guide to its Intelligent Uses, Aristotle stated four different answers to the question why. All of the answers take form in causes: formal cause, final cause, material cause, and efficient cause. The first one is formal cause which is the idea or inspiration that conducts an event. The second one is final cause which is the purpose of the event. The third one is material cause which is the objects that are being worked on or being changed. The last one is efficient cause which is the thing that causes a motion and provokes a change. As cell phones become more popular as years go by, their influence in modern day life has become indeed significant. However, many do not question why these cell phones were created. While all four causes apply to the creation of cell phones, modern day cell phone companies focus on only one specific one so they can make money.
An example of these four causes in action is on the making of a cell phone in the cell phone industry. The efficient cause is the engineers (computer systems engineers, electrical engineers, and material engineer) of corporate companies, i.e. Samsung, who will design and develop the product and also the workers of the corporate company who will help manufacture the product. The material cause of a cellphone is the circuit board, the liquid crystal display (LCD), the rechargeable battery, the antenna and other different substances that makes a cellphone. There are many materials that make up a cellphone is made from many different materials (40% metal, 40% plastics, and 20% ceramics and trace materials). The formal cause is the idea of creating an efficient, easy way of communicating to other people despite the location. Lastly, the final cause is the phone itself which allows quick communication and entertainment (with the camera, mp3 capability, and even internet) for the user. However, as time went by, these four causes are less used.
Many cellphone companies now barely focuses on any of the four causes and just focuses on making the efficient cause the primary cause. By doing so, the engineer and workers of the company will think solely of themselves. They might just think of making cell phones more efficiently so they can make more money. According to Hillman, efficient cause can be useful but if it is just by itself, none of the other causes matters: The efficient cause makes things happen. When it is singled out as the only cause, then it does not matter what happens, to what or whom it happens and for what purpose it happens. (38). Since it doesn t matter who, what, and why cell phones get created, the efficient cause (the workers of cell phone companies) might only care about making money. They would not care much about the materials used to make the cell phone (material cause) and the idea that inspired them to create cell phones (formal cause). All they would care about is efficiency and profit. There are many methods that cell phone companies use to make more money. One way is that cell phone companies will use cheap labor”like Chinese workers in China who are willing to work under wages. They will also use less expensive materials to make the cell phone. Another way cell phone companies uses is by creating contracts to make customers stay with their company. For example, AT&T, a cell phone company, makes customers sign contracts with them for two years. In return, AT&T will give them a cell phone at a discounted price or sometimes, for free. However, if the customers wish to cancel the contract, they will have to pay a huge amount of money in return. This is an efficient way in forcing people to pay monthly and stay with their cell phone company for a longer period of time. However, with such efficient way of making profit, the making of cell phone lost its true value. The engineers and the workers (the efficient cause) no longer design the product with the mind of creating an efficient way for people to communicate (the formal cause). Instead, the new formal cause is to make money. The engineers and workers will think of ways to satisfy the customers so that they will buy the phones. At the same time, they want to make sure that the cell phones are made efficiently and cheaply so they will make profit. These phones usually end up being poorly-functioned and are not ideal for quick communication. In the end, cell phones companies become more obsessed with making money than actually wanting to help customers gain quick communication.
In order to make the cell phone companies not seem like selfish profit-oriented businesses, the cell phone industry should consider all of Aristotle s four causes instead of just the efficient cause. The engineers and workers of the industry (the efficient cause) should be making the cell phones (the final cause) with the mind of creating ones that give fantastic, efficient communication and are long-lasting for the customers (the formal cause). To do this, it means that more money is needed to be spent in order to buy durable materials (material cause) that are usually not cheap. Although this might mean that the cost of the cell phones might cost more, the mobile phones would last longer and function better. They would also provide better communication. Why buy phones that are cheap but only last for a few months? It is better to buy phones–made of durable materials–that are more expensive but last for a longer period of time, especially if the cell phone company consists of two year contracts that forbid people from getting another phone unless they pay them at the full price. Using all four causes, people will see the cell phone industry in a more positive point of view. They will see that the cell phone industry aims to help people communicate, not eating all the customers money away.
Sadly, the modern mobile phone industry focuses on just making money, money, and more money instead of following the four causes. As seen with the two year contract, customers are forced to stay with the same company for a long period of time to ensure that the company will make that much money during those two years. Also, cell phone companies see the modern trends and try to make promotions so people will buy their promotions. For example, texting and going on the internet on the phone is getting more popular than actually talking on the phone. If the customer does not buy their texting and internet data plan, it will cost more to use internet or text without the plan. For instance, Sprint, another cell phone company, charges 20 cents per text without the unlimited texting plan. However, if the customer gets unlimited texting, it will cost $20 for the whole month. Such method allows for the companies to make the customer spend more on their monthly plan; thus, the companies earn more money. The cell phone industry has truly lost their true motive. They no longer care about providing better communication between people but only care about the big bucks they are making. In some ways, the modern society has affected cell phone companies to be this way as people demand for cheap, yet beneficial items. However, as achieving both are nearly impossible, the cell phone companies has decided to go with the cheap route and providing bad receptions, poor-quality phones. From my perspective, the modern society has caused the cell phone industry became a selfish, money-loving industry.
In the BODY of the essay, is it clear how each paragraph connects to the theme or thesis of the essay? How? Is the author’s explanation of the Four Causes clear? Does she or he accurately identify how the Final, Formal, Efficient, and Material Causes apply to their field of industry? Does the author then move on to show how his or her area of industry has made the efficiency principle the bottom line, and what the cost of that move has been to humanity and the health of the planet? If not, what’s missing? Are there enough specific examples? If not, where are more required? In the main section of the essay, does the author successfully show how his or her industry, such as tobacco products, fast food restaurants, oil companies, Hollywood film studios, HMO’s, etc., would transform if instead of having efficiency as their bottom line, they balanced their approach by giving equal important to the other three Causes? Is the discussion balanced, and is each Cause given equal weight? Does the picture that emerges satisfy you in its completeness? Does the CONCLUSION give you a feeling of completeness and closure? What are two seriously positive qualities of this essay? Give the author two strong suggestions that would help this be a better essay.(about 400 words)
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