Organisms as natural purposes: The contemporary evolutionary perspective

I argue that recent advances in developmental biology demonstrate the inadequacy of suborganismal mechanism. The category of the organism, construed as a ’natural purpose’ should play an ineliminable role in explaining ontogenetic development and adaptive evolution. According to Kant the natural purposiveness of organisms cannot be demonstrated to be an objective principle in nature, nor can purposiveness figure in genuine explain. I attempt to argue, by appeal to recent work on self-organization, that the purposiveness of organisms is a natural phenomenon and, by appeal to the apparatus of invariance explanation, that biological purposiveness provides genuine, ineliminable biological explanations. (edited)
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2006.09.009
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References found in this work BETA
James Woodward (2000). Explanation and Invariance in the Special Sciences. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 51 (2):197-254.
Matteo Mameli (2004). Nongenetic Selection and Nongenetic Inheritance. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (1):35-71.

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Citations of this work BETA
David J. Depew (2008). Consequence Etiology and Biological Teleology in Aristotle and Darwin. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (4):379-390.

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