What of these other fours?
 Post appears BELOW Table of Contents.
 This blog focuses on similarities between others' four-folds, tetrads, tetrachotomies, and mine, and includes links to online information on others’ fours in their own terms. It results from overgrowth of an old post at The Tetrast "What of these other fours?".
Table of Contents

Fours that I've
adopted or adapted:
Fours with a striking
likeness to mine:
Fours involving some
likeness to mine:
More-or-less different fours:
Unless otherwise stated within the post, first posted on Friday, December 5, 2008. Post times here are just a device to control the order of appearance. Most of the posts are based on entries in an older post "What of These Other Fours?" at The Tetrast.
Mining Aristotle's Four Causes for order & balance
Recentest significant change: October 29, 2013.
Udate July 28 & Sept. 5, 2013:

I recently overcame a kind of brain glitch about the impetus-means-end-check four-fold. I had long thought of my fourth stage (entelechy, "check") as involving verification that one has, so to speak, hit a target. So the prospect of verifiability could influence one's choice of targets. That was just not a strong enough conception of entelechy's part in the four-fold, and it kept nagging me though at length I drifted to other concerns. Then something that Dewey said finally set me on a better path . It's not just a matter of verifying one's "hits," but of whether the goals were good ideas in the first place. The prospective entelechy helps us consider unintended consequences, develop general values, and deal with conflicts among values. Thus entelechy guides ends (not to mention means and beginnings). Hedonism focuses only on end, telos, culmination, etc., and ignores entelechy. That's it in a nutshell. See "Telos, entelechy, Aristotle's Four Causes, pleasure, & happiness" at The Tetrast. End of update.

The Four Causes (aítia) or reasons that make a thing what it is —
the efficient cause
(a.k.a. the agent cause),
the matter,the end, the form or shape
— and their three Principles —
— of Aristotle and the Scholastics — are part of what got me interested in four-folds, tetrachotomies, tetrads. I never thought that they were "just a list" as some 20th-Century philosophers have believed. The Four Causes do, however, seem to need to have some further symmetry and order brought to light. (I've a taste for symmetry and order which I seem somehow to have inhaled from the intellectual air many years ago, though obviously not from the philosophical air of the time.) I, I, I — promise that my self-references will diminish as the post progresses. Anyway, connoisseurs and aficionados of the Four Causes, please do at least inspect the long table which concludes this post.

I discuss the Four Causes quite a bit, especially in these posts:
Tetrastic version of the Four Causes & their Principles.
1. Beginning, impetus.
Agent cause, mechanism, etc.
Agency, operation.
Mover, affector, agent.
Source of change or rest.

Compare versus net momentum,
impulse, force.
2. Middle, means, development.
Material, composition.
Bearing, coping.
Bearer, endurer.
Mediation of change or rest.

Compare versus rest mass,
rest energy, internal work & power.
3. End, telos, culmination.
Actualization, differentiation, etc.
Act, action, activity.
Moved, affected, acted-on.
Culmination of change or rest.

Compare versus (non-rest) energy,
work, power.
4. Check, entelechy, establishment.
Borneness, balancement.
Borne, endured.
Settlement/resolution of change or rest.

Compare versus internally balanced
momenta (potential & kinetic), impulses, forces.

Note: Momentum, force, etc., do not "cause" energy, work, power, as "effects."
Instead the quantities were originally conceived of in the attempt to quantify "causativeness" and effect.

- "Compare to Aristotle, Aquinas, & Peirce"
- "The Four Causes, their principles, special relativity, Thomistic beauty,

and I touch on them elsewhere, especially in "Why tetrastic?".

Basically, I think that Aristotle and the Scholastics missed the potential symmetry in the causal principles (agent, patient, act). Aquinas subdivided act into action and form, so that he had something like four causal principles for four causes, but it still isn't regular enough. The principles must be re-conceived, somewhat, as the agent, the bearer, the act, and, furthermore, the borne — which seems too neat and simple to be true, surely philosophers thought of it and, apparently, dismissed it for whatever reason — but for my part (I'm no expert on the ancients or the Scholastics) I don't know of any ancient or Scholastic philosopher's considering it (and dismissing it or otherwise), and it works. The borne (or "borneness"), as a cause, is the more-or-less stable balancement of forces, the form or structure, the standing finished, the settlement, establishment, entelechy.

• Of course,
(1) the Ancient Greek paschein, "to bear," more exclusively meant "to suffer" than "to bear up under," making it a bit harder to think of the borne as the supported, the founded; Aristotle and the Scholastics thought not of a borneness but of a passion, a suffering (which in turn was not considered a causal principle); and
(2) the corresponding Latin pati (which could mean "to endure" in the sense of "to bear up under") was a deponent, conjugated mostly in the passive voice with active sense, thus making a bit harder a distinct conception of the passive-sense "borne" correlated to the bearer (patiens).
• Yet, both (1) and (2) seem small hurdles. But it seems that nobody suspected that there was a prize to seek beyond them. Heck, maybe I'm alone in suspecting or believing it today.

1. To bear or allow and to do or drive (or make something do something) are opposed like possibility and necessity, so right there one should wonder whether active-voice and passive-voice versions of both to bear and to drive might be involved in some interesting and unusual square of opposition.
2, The patient or bearer indeed has endurance and patience, except to the extent that an agent drives it into a kind of ("passionate") impatience which is act. Likewise a (mechanical) agent potentially (while under restraint) or actually moves (changes position), and, in driving a patient into act, the agent drives it except to the extent that the agent is borne, supported, balanced into a kind of inagency which is borneness, balancement. This is the sort of thing that "borneness" means at a rudimentary level.
3. The two opposed ideas of patience and act are time ideas (like rest mass versus (non-rest) energy respectively and like proper time versus time dilation respectively). Likewise the two opposed ideas of agency and borneness, are distance ideas, like unbalanced momentum (or impulse or force) versus balanced momentum (or impulse or force) respectively, and like velocity versus slowness allied with a direction (slowness rather than rest since the possession of some balanced momenta does not mean that a system has no net momentum), involving magnitudes with directions and directional opposability.

Form in the sense of the formal cause needs to be conceived (or re-conceived, if necessary) as structure rather than as figure, aspect, appearance, etc.  One can think of the four causes at various levels, but at a given level, for instance the physical level, one should practice consistency of conception. If one sees, at the physical level, a forceful or impellent agent cause, a material cause, and a final cause which amounts to action, work done, for mechanical conservation and thermodynamic decay at the least, then it is rather difficult to see, at such a physical level, what role is held by figure, aspect, or appearance in making a thing what it is. On the other hand, consider a more-or-less stable balance of forces, a structure, which, despite or partly thanks to its mobility, flexibility, or lack thereof, etc., makes a thing what it is. That makes more sense as a fellow "why" within the family of such "why"s as matter and force — and it much better correlates to the idea of an entelechy, a final settled, stabilized form, than figure, aspect, or appearance do.

Underlying equivalences
along the diagonals.


Objection: There is a kind of equivalence and redundancy between balanced forces (the structure) and unbalanced forces (agencies), since they're all force or impulse or whatever in some sense.
Response: That's not a bug but a feature, indeed a solution, since it is likewise as there is an equivalence between mass and energy (for instance work done). If there's to be an equivalence between the patient matter and the actional end, then we should wonder why there were not also an equivalence between an efficient agent and a form. The differences between the external and the internal, and between the unbalanced and the balanced, and between the stable and the unstable, mean that mere redundancies are not involved, but instead complementary versions of a mode. It goes even further than the mass-energy equivalence and the underlying equivalence between balanced and unbalanced momenta. Time and space have a deep unity and are expressible in the same units; likewise mass, energy, and momentum have a deep unity and are expressible in the same units.

Objection: Form or structure does not belong with the other causes at least at the mechanical level. The other causes are about push, pull, action, endurance, etc. Form involves spatial arrangement and pattern.
Response: The basic structural issues of balance and stability are certainly relevant issues in mechanics. Generally the idea of structure meshes with other ideas in mechanics. The agentlike quantities momentum, impulse, and force all include spatial direction in their formulas. The strong association of direction with agency is not confined to modern mechanics, insofar as forceful agents have long been considered as opposable from opposite directions. The importance of spatial direction is shared by (A) net force, impulse, momentum, and (B) a structure or arrangement of balanced forces or momenta. In fact spatial direction is a significant factor even for time quantities such as mass and energy but in ways depending on the distance quantities.

Objection: A thing's form is not its establishment but instead is its definition.
Response: A thing's form in that sense is not necessarily its structure or even its outward shape but instead its genus conjoined with its species' difference from its genus.

Objection: Form should be regarded as figure, aspect, or appearance, in order to provide a place or at least a doorway for the idea of information among the causes (see the syllable "form" sometimes written in upper case in the word "inFORMation").
Response: (A) Figure, aspect, appearance, bloom, variegation, and indeed information itself, as kinds of differentiation, are (in terms of the four causes and their principles) energy and activity ideas, rather than structure and stability ideas; and (B) energy and information seem akin also because of the connection between Shannon's information entropy and Boltzmann entropy.

Sidebox: Systematic exhaustion of possible combinations of the change ideas underpinning beginning, middle, end, check.
Beginning, similar to starting up (e.g., at time t)
— X occurs? no (for some period) till t, yes (for some period) since t.
Middle, similar to continuing (e.g., at time t)
— X occurs? yes (for some period) till t, yes (for some period) since t.
End, culmination, similar to stopping (e.g., at time t)
— X occurs? yes (for some period) till t, no (for some period) since t.
Check, entelechy, similar to refraining, holding (e.g., at time t)
— X occurs? no (for some period) till t, no (for some period) since t.
Be that as it may, generally there are "layers" of the four causes which need to be teased apart rather than being represented by only this or that cause in a patchwork. It's a question of consistency of conceptions. For instance, if we have the end as a cause, then what of a beginning and a middle or means? And as beginning and middle are distinguished as beginning versus continuation (like a staying begun), what of end as ending, culmination versus end as settlement, entelechy, a standing finished?

For further arguments or likenesses thereof, see my links above. For examples, see the large table below.

If, in human affairs, the end is generally happiness, then (stop and ask yourself) what, in human affairs, is the corresponding beginning? A question seldom asked. And the middle or means? And the standing finished, settlement, the entelechy? Of course the feeling of happiness involves an appreciation of luck, since luck plays some role in success; but luck favors those who try. Aristotle held that virtue (excellence of character) leads to happiness; but virtues and happiness are at different levels of generality: by virtues one attempts, seeks, takes, and sticks with one's values, like Ayn Rand kept saying. So, where happiness is the value, what is the corresponding virtue? I think that Lincoln comes close: "A man is about as happy as he makes up his mind to be." Anyway, maybe you've thought of some answers to all these questions. For my attempted answers, see the large table's bottom row below.

The Four Causes & Related Principles
externalefficient cause  
end, final cause 
internalpatientform, formal cause
matter, material cause
middle, means
end, telos
check, entelechy

Tetrastic (elaborated)
Existence (consistently extreme version).Efficient cause.Sustainer.Consumer, exhauster.Assimilator / suppressor.
Causes as turns of becoming.Beginning.Middle, means.End, telos.Check, entelechy, standing finished.
Causes as rational characters.The strong has the rational character of a beginning (an impetus or the source of an impetus).The apt has the rational character of a middle or means.The good has the rational character of an end.The true, sound, (fallibistically) wise has the rational character of a check, entelechy.
Causes as stages.Impetus.Development, process.Culmination.Settlement, establishment.
Human causal principles.Will, conation.
Character. Virtues, vices, etc.
Ability, dealing.
Competence. Métiers, etc.
Sensibility. Values, etc.
Intelligence. Knowledgeability, etc.
Static or quasi-static causes.Essential tensions, pressures (of a thing especially as in its environment but also internally).Composition, material (of a thing but also of its external relations, environment, media, etc.).Differentiation, diversification (of a thing especially as a system among others in its environment, but also as among its parts, organs).Unitary structure (of a thing especially but also of its external relations, environment, etc.).
 Correlatives, examples, etc.
Correlated research foci.Regimes (systems of plurally instanced universals).Domains (universes of discourse or total populations & their parameters).Kinds, varieties; species. (At once general & special, i.e., neither universal nor individual.)Individuals (connected, ordered, etc.) in a larger world.
Correlated concrete phenomena.Motion & forces.Matter.Life.Mind.
Kinetic / mechanical correlatives.Net momentum, impulse, force.Rest mass, rest energy, internal work & power.(Non-rest) energy, work, power.Internal, balanced momenta (potential & kinetic), impulses, forces.
Basic subsistence.Catching or gathering the food.Cooking or otherwise preparing the food.Presenting, consuming, enjoying the food.Digesting & reflecting on the food.
Bahavioral phases / foci.Adoption, appropriation, assumption, control.Processing, adaptation, production.Consumption, expression, conversion.Rumination, assimilation, learnings.
Inter-behaviors.Vying — conflict, competition, rivalry, contention.Cooperation, tolerance, minding one's (own) business.Community, distinctive unitings.Checks & balances.
Vying's prizes.Power, influence.Wealth, means, wherewithal.Glory, wattage, 'action.'Honor, validation, standing.
(Human causal-principle) applications—& excellences.(Volition, conation):
Struggle / striving.
—Determination / dedication.
(Abiity, dealing):
—Skill / technical art.
—(Fallibilistic) knowledge.
Methods of learning.Struggle: Trial & error
(including variation).
Practice & repetition.Appreciation & emulation (better known as identification & imitation).Reflection & testing
(the reasoning process).
Temporal zones of communication and cause & effect.The almost-now, events along swiftest paths fanning outward from oneself.The later future.The just-now, barely-now, events along swiftest paths incoming to oneself.The earlier past.
Modes of attribution of characters.Optima & feasibles.Probabilities.Information, "newsiness."Bases, facts, data.
General processes.Decision processes.Stochastic processes.Info / communication processes.Inference processes, logic.
General processes, human aspect.Plotting, demarcating, objectification.Correlating, measurement, apportionment, counting, forming a representation.Drawing a (weak or strong) implication, e.g., calculation.Drawing a lesson, inference to a judgment.
Some classes of signs (a Peirce trichotomy of signs, augmented).Index.Semblance, likeness.Symbol, and (in a perhaps more general sense) functional surrogate.Proxy, model that which counts as its represented object under transformations and, so to speak, makes the same "decisions" as its object would make, by following the same rules. I don't mean "proxy" in the sense of tree rings as proxy for thermometers.
Modes of inference:Surmise. Automatically preserves neither truth nor falsity.Strictly ampliative induction.Forward-only deduction.Equivalential deduction.
Ironic aspectual criteria of above-correlated inference modes' conclusions.Naturalness, facility, efficiency.Likeliness (I don't mean in a Bayesian sense to its extent of incorporating subjective estimates of probability into the reasoning itself).Novelty.Nontriviality.
Scientific inquiry into concrete phenomena:Explanatory hypothesis (to an entity, law, etc.)Characterizing the phenomenon in light of the hypothesis, inducing to likely scenarios.
Aw heck, I'm unsure here.
Noting a distinctive consequence (prediction).Reproducing (not merely repeating) the test/prediction in various equivalent forms.
Tetradic semiosic stages (augmented Peirce).Objectification.Representation.Interpretation.Establishment.
Communication stages.Source.Encoding.Decoding.Destination (verification is generally a destination's task.)
Creative process (Helmholtz & Poincaré).Saturation (getting handles on a problem).Incubation.Illumination (e.g., as in "eureka!").Verification.
Requisites for beauty (augmented Aquinas).Due magnitude & direction.Harmony, due proportion, due rhythm.Radiance, vibrance.(Structural) wholeness, integrity.
Aesthetic stages (augmented Joyce).Arrest.Fascination.Enchantment.Attachment, devotion.
Art's four poles.Subject matter (mastering it from an artistic standpoint).Artist (materials, technique, sensibility).Art work (the point, the artistic effect; publishing it, performing it).Audience (target audience, reception, etc. The audience isn't always right but then what is?)
Artistic genres
(Some Joyce plus Gerald L. Bruns plus what):
Foci: volition & audience.
Critical, contentional, persuasional, seductive, proselytic, etc.
Cf. vyings.
Foci: ability & artwork.
'Formalist', 'hermetic', etc.
Cf. cooperation, tolerance, minding one's (own) business. Workaholic Hephaistos's focus on work to exclusion of world.
Foci: affectivity & artist.
Cf. community, distinctive unitings.
Foci: cognition & subject matter.
Cf. checks & balances.
Causes in human life's affairs.The beginning:
Endeavor (one's life's dynamics as strong & freely undertaken).
The middle, means:
Self-application, industry (one's life's processes as dependable & cultivated).
The end, telos, culmination:
Happiness (one's life's activities as vibrant & pleasurable).
The entelechy, the standing finished:
Assurance (one's life's balancements as sure & known).
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