Evolution: Teleology or chance? [Book Review]
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Journal for General Philosophy of Science 22 (1):133-141 (1991)
Revaluation of the problem of natural teleology seems an important precondition for elucidating our environmental crisis and for formulating an 'econological ethics', because it calls for a recognition of an intrinsic value in nature and organisms. Therefore, it is necessary to show that the concept of natural teleology is not in contradiction with scientific theories, in particular not with the theory of evolution. In this paper I shall argue that there is a fundamental misunderstanding about the concepts of teleology and chance in modern thinking. This as a result of a radical transformation of the Aristotelian concept of teleology by Christian theologians during the Middle Ages. This confusion resulted in the rejection of teleology from evolution and in an exaggeration of the role of chance. However, not a solution for the problem of teleology is given here, but only an attempt to prove that neither the fossil-record, nor the role of chance in evolution can give adequate arguments for the negation of teleology in evolution. That is not to say that, therefore there exists teleology in evolution, but the problem of teleology in nature cannot, be solved by the scientific theory of evolution, but only be elucidated by philosophical analysis. At the end of the paper it is argued that teleology must be rather presupposed in evolution
|Keywords||evolution teleology chance purpose anthropomorphism|
|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
Francisco J. Ayala (1970). Teleological Explanations in Evolutionary Biology. Philosophy of Science 37 (1):1-15.
John Beatty (1984). Chance and Natural Selection. Philosophy of Science 51 (2):183-211.
David L. Hull (1974). Philosophy of Biological Science. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.,Prentice-Hall.
Arturo Rosenblueth & Norbert Wiener (1950). Purposeful and Non-Purposeful Behavior. Philosophy of Science 17 (4):318-326.
Michael Ruse (1973). The Philosophy of Biology. London,Hutchinson.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Alix A. Cohen (2007). A Kantian Stance on Teleology in Biology. South African Journal of Philosophy 26 (2):109 - 121.
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.
Mariska Leunissen (2010). Explanation and Teleology in Aristotle's Science of Nature. Cambridge University Press.
Rich Cameron (2010). Aristotle's Teleology. Philosophy Compass 5 (12):1096-1106.
Andrew Woodfield (1976). Teleology. Cambridge University Press.
Mohan Matthen (1991). Naturalism and Teleology. Journal of Philosophy 88 (11):656-657.
Grace A. De Laguna (1962). The Role of Teleonomy in Evolution. Philosophy of Science 29 (2):117 - 131.
Daniel Kolb (1992). Kant, Teleology, and Evolution. Synthese 91 (1-2):9 - 28.
Willem A. deVries (1991). The Dialectic of Teleology. Philosophical Topics 19 (2):51-70.
Pascal Massie (2003). The Irony of Chance. International Philosophical Quarterly 43 (1):15-28.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads19 ( #92,858 of 1,100,079 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #304,128 of 1,100,079 )
How can I increase my downloads?