Woodfield's analysis of teleology

Philosophy of Science 51 (3):488-494 (1984)
Woodfield's analysis of teleology, though it has many virtues, nevertheless exhibits defects that are by no means peripheral. The acknowledged unity of teleological statements is removed because of the unnoticed difference between something being good and something appearing good. It is removed again because "good" does not have one meaning throughout but means desired in purposive and artifact-function TDs and beneficial in behavioral function and biological function TDs. In addition, the analyses of purposive and artifact-function TDs incorrectly claim that all goals are desired. Further, if "desired" is substituted for "good," those same analyses become incoherent. Finally, the interpretation of "belief" assigned to "S believes B is good" makes unintelligible "S believes B causally contributes to G."
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DOI 10.1086/289195
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