Aristotle claims that, for certain kinds of things, efficient, formal, and final causes “often coincide” (Physics II.7 198a25; Charlton 1970, 38). Things of these kinds cannot be understood apart from their histories. It is not incidental that they come into existence in the ways that they do. Rather, they are essentially the results of the kinds of processes that generate them. These processes, in turn, are what account for the functions and characteristic behaviors of the entities thus brought into existence....
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