What technology is, when represented as a means, discloses itself when we trace instrumentality back to fourfold causality.
But suppose that causality, for its part, is veiled in darkness with respect to what it is? Certainly for centuries we have acted as though the doctrine of the four causes had fallen from heaven as a truth as clear as daylight. But it might be that the time has come to ask: Why are there only four causes? In relation to the aforementioned four, what does "cause" really mean? From whence does it come that the causal character of the four causes is so unifiedly determined that they belong together?
So long as we do not allow ourselves to go into these questions, causality, and with it instrumentality, and with this the accepted definition of technology, remain obscure and groundless.
For a long time we have been accustomed to representing cause as that which brings something about. In this connection, to bring about means to obtain results, effects. The causa efficiens, but one among the four causes, sets the standard for all causality. This goes so far that we no longer even count the causa finales, telic finality, as causality. Causa, casus, belongs to the verb cadere, to fall, and means that which brings it about that something turns out as a result in such and such a way. The doctrine of the four causes goes back to Aristotle. But everything that later ages seek in Greek thought under the conception and rubric "causality" in the realm of Greek thought and for Greek thought per se has simply nothing at all to do with bringing about and effecting. What we call cause [Ursache] and the Romans call causa is called αίτιον by the Greeks, that to which something else is indebted [das, was ein anderes verschuldet]. The four causes are the ways, all belonging at once to each other, of being responsible for something else. An example can clarify this.