Teleology and reduction in biology

Biology and Philosophy 1 (4):389-399 (1986)
Abstract
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)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,612
External links
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.
Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

35 ( #48,201 of 1,098,400 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

10 ( #18,602 of 1,098,400 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.