The formal cause Aristotle defines as the substance and essence of the thing.
In the first place, the formal cause and the final cause are the same.
It is the formal cause of man, not the efficient cause, although it is the efficient cause of subsequent vital operations.
From the above it appears that the efficient cause is regarded by Aristotle as identical with the formal cause.
The formal cause ( )--the being or abstract essence of a thing--that primary nature on which all its properties depend.
The formal cause is the personal sanctity of each individual.
Plato alone clearly saw the necessity for the formal cause, for formal causes are, as we have seen, the same as Plato's Ideas.
The direct cause of disease is the excess of heat or cold, the formal cause is excess or defect, the place is the blood or brain.
Scholasticism was content to talk about it under the name of 'substantial form' or 'formal cause'.
Therefore the formal cause is the concept, or, as Plato would call it, the Idea of the thing.
c.1200, "reason for action, grounds for action; motive," from Old French cause "cause, reason; lawsuit, case in law" (12c.), and directly from Latin causa "a cause; a reason; interest; judicial process, lawsuit," of unknown origin.
In English, sense of "matter of concern; side taken in controversy" is from c.1300; that of "the source of an effect" is early 14c.; meaning "reason for something taking place" is late 14c. Cause célèbre "celebrated legal case" is 1763, from French. Cause why? "for what reason?" is in Chaucer.
late 14c., "produce an effect," also "impel, compel," from Old French causer "to cause" (13c.) and directly from Medieval Latin causare, from Latin causa "a cause; a reason; interest; judicial process, lawsuit," of unknown origin. Related: Caused; causing. Classical Latin causari meant "to plead, to debate a question."