David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In Metaphysical Essays. Oxford University Press (2006)
As is well known, Aristotelian natural philosophy, and many other systems of natural philosophy since, have relied heavily on teleology and teleological causation. Somehow, the purpose or end of an obj ect can be used to predict and explain what that object does: once you know that the end of an acorn is to become an oak, and a few things about what sorts of circumstances are conducive to the attainment of this end, you can predict a lot about the sprouting of the acorn and the subsequent behaviour of the piece of vegetation that results. Once you know that a rock seeks to move towards the centre of the Earth, you gain some insight into why it falls when released, and why it deforms the carpet or foot that it lands on. Once you know that the rabbit seeks to preserve itself, you can predict it will run from the fox. And so on. There are at least three features of Aristotle’s teleology, and more generally of an Aristotelian frame of mind about teleology, that may induce suspicion. One is that an end can serve as a "cause": as well as the sort of causation we all recognize, efficient causation, there are other forms, one of which is teleological causation. However, this can look less odd if we think of causes as things that figure in "because" answers to "why" questions. Whether or not self-preservation, or the rabbit’s continued existence, or something similar, causes the rabbit to run, the reply "because it seeks to continue in existence" certainly makes sense as an answer, or part of an answer, to a question about why it ran from the fox. (At present we are only.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer (2015). Folk Mereology is Teleological. Noûs 49 (3):n/a-n/a.
A. J. Cotnoir (2016). Does Universalism Entail Extensionalism? Noûs 50 (1):121-132.
Nicky Kroll (2015). Progressive Teleology. Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2931-2954.
Similar books and articles
Mariska Leunissen & Allan Gotthelf (2010). What's Teleology Got to Do with It? A Reinterpretation of Aristotle's Generation of Animals V. Phronesis 55 (4):325-356.
Christopher Hitchcock & Joshua Knobe (2009). Cause and Norm. Journal of Philosophy 106 (11):587-612.
Stephen B. Hawkins (2007). Desire and Natural Classification: Aristotle and Peirce on Final Cause. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society 43 (3):521 - 541.
Robert C. Koons (1998). Teleology as Higher-Order Causation: A Situation-Theoretic Account. Minds and Machines 8 (4):559-585.
E. J. Lowe (2006). Non-Cartesian Substance Dualism and the Problem of Mental Causation. Erkenntnis 65 (1):5-23.
Menno Hulswit (2005). How Causal is Downward Causation? Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 36 (2):261 - 287.
Mariska Leunissen (2010). Explanation and Teleology in Aristotle's Science of Nature. Cambridge University Press.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads338 ( #5,097 of 1,790,397 )
Recent downloads (6 months)30 ( #27,156 of 1,790,397 )
How can I increase my downloads?