David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Biology and Philosophy 1 (4):389-399 (1986)
The main claim in this paper is that because organisms have teleological constitutions, the reduction of biology to physical science is not possible. It is argued that the teleology of organisms is intrinsic and not merely projected onto them. Many organic phenomena are end-oriented and reference to ends is necessary for explaining them. Accounts in terms of functions or goals are appropriate to organic parts and processes. siis is because ends as systemic requirements for survival and health have explanatory significance with respect to the processes that contribute to and constitute them. Reductionism cannot accommodate this sort of higher-level to lower-level explanation and so cannot account for why lower-level phenomena are as they are. Reductionism, it is claimed, is ultimately descriptive and not explanatory because it cannot regard teleological requirements as themselves basic. In seeking to explain them away it forfeits explanatory power.
|Keywords||Teleology reduction hierarchy intrinsic end|
|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
David L. Hull (1974). Philosophy of Biological Science. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Andrew Woodfield (1976). Teleology. Cambridge University Press.
Michael Ruse (ed.) (2007). Philosophy of Biology. Prometheus Books.
Citations of this work BETA
Marco Buzzoni (2015). Causality, Teleology, and Thought Experiments in Biology. Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):279-299.
Similar books and articles
Alix A. Cohen (2008). Kant's Biological Conception of History. Journal of the Philosophy of History 2 (1):1-28.
Harold Kincaid (1988). Supervenience and Explanation. Synthese 77 (November):251-81.
Megan Delehanty (2005). Emergent Properties and the Context Objection to Reduction. Biology and Philosophy 20 (4):715-734.
Francisco J. Ayala (1970). Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology. Philosophy of Science 37 (1):1-15.
James Kreines (2005). The Inexplicability of Kant's Naturzweck: Kant on Teleology, Explanation and Biology. Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 87 (3):270-311.
Mariska Leunissen (2010). Explanation and Teleology in Aristotle's Science of Nature. Cambridge University Press.
James G. Lennox (1993). Darwin Was a Teleologist. Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):409-421.
Daniel Kolb (1992). Kant, Teleology, and Evolution. Synthese 91 (1-2):9 - 28.
Marcel Quarfood (2006). Kant on Biological Teleology: Towards a Two-Level Interpretation. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 37 (4):735-747.
Sahotra Sarkar (1992). Models of Reduction and Categories of Reductionism. Synthese 91 (3):167-94.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads44 ( #91,021 of 1,790,390 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #431,681 of 1,790,390 )
How can I increase my downloads?