David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Biology and Philosophy 8 (4):409-421 (1993)
It is often claimed that one of Darwin''s chief accomplishments was to provide biology with a non-teleological explanation of adaptation. A number of Darwin''s closest associates, however, and Darwin himself, did not see it that way. In order to assess whether Darwin''s version of evolutionary theory does or does not employ teleological explanation, two of his botanical studies are examined. The result of this examination is that Darwin sees selection explanations of adaptations as teleological explanations. The confusion in the nineteenth century about Darwin''s attitude to teleology is argued to be a result of Darwin''s teleological explanations not conforming to either of the dominant philosophical justifications of teleology at that time. Darwin''s explanatory practices conform well, however, to recent defenses of the teleological character of selection explanations.
|Keywords||Adaptation Darwin final cause natural selection plant sexuality teleology|
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Citations of this work BETA
John Beatty & Eric Cyr Desjardins (2009). Natural Selection and History. Biology and Philosophy 24 (2):231-246.
James G. Lennox (2010). The Darwin/Gray Correspondence 1857–1869: An Intelligent Discussion About Chance and Design. Perspectives on Science 18 (4):456-479.
Ricardo Noguera‐Solano (2013). The Metaphor of the Architect in Darwin: Chance and Free Will. Zygon 48 (4):859-874.
John Beatty (2006). Chance Variation: Darwin on Orchids. Philosophy of Science 73 (5):629-641.
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