The Importance of Teleology to Boyle's Natural Philosophy

Abstract
Boyle prefaced his Disquisition about the Final Causes of Natural Things with the claim that there are three dangerous consequences for failing to engage in the pursuit of final causes. Boyle was sincere in this claim, for there is a systematic line of reasoning in his texts that incorporates all three consequences and establishes conceptual connections between his science, his theology, and his value theory. I argue in this paper that Boyle's teleological outlook led him to believe that the natural philosopher is morally obligated to continue his investigations of nature on the grounds that a deeper understanding of the teleological order necessarily motivates divine worship. Moreover, Boyle saw a conceptual connection between a teleological study of nature and revealed theology, a connection that reveals that a study of teleological nature can lead to the highest form of happiness. I conclude with a summary, and some remarks about the sincerity and weaknesses of Boyle's reasoning
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Citations of this work BETA
Laurence Carlin (2012). Boyle's Teleological Mechanism and the Myth of Immanent Teleology. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 43 (1):54-63.
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