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  1. Optimality and Teleology in Aristotle's Natural Science.Devin Henry - manuscript
    In this paper I examine the role of optimality reasoning in Aristotle’s natural science. By “optimality reasoning” I mean reasoning that appeals to some conception of “what is best” in order to explain why things are the way they are. We are first introduced to this pattern of reasoning in the famous passage at Phaedo 97b8-98a2, where (Plato’s) Socrates invokes “what is best” as a cause (aitia) of things in nature. This passage can be seen as the intellectual ancestor of (...)
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  2. Biosemiotics, Aboutness, Meaning and Bio-intentionality. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach (Biosemiotics Gatherings 2015).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The management of meaningful information by biological entities is at the core of biosemiotics [Hoffmeyer 2010]. Intentionality, the ‘aboutness’ of mental states, is a key driver in philosophy of mind. Philosophers have been reluctant to use intentionality for non human animals. Some biologists have been in favor of it. J. Hoffmeyer has been using evolutionary intentionality and Peircean semiotics to discuss a biosemiotic approach to the problem of intentionality [Hoffmeyer 1996, 2012]. Also, recent philosophical studies are bringing new openings on (...)
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  3. Striving (conatus).Valtteri Viljanen - manuscript
    The entry on striving (conatus) for the Cambridge Spinoza Lexicon, edited by Karolina Hübner and Justin Steinberg. This is the second (September 2022) draft; please do not quote, but comments are very welcome.
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  4. Teleomechanism redux? The conceptual hybridity of living machines in early modern natural philosophy.Charles T. Wolfe - manuscript
    We have been accustomed at least since Kant and mainstream history of philosophy to distinguish between the ‘mechanical’ and the ‘teleological’; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature exemplified by Newton and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings ultimately expressed in the concept of ‘organism’ – a purposive entity, or at least an entity possessed of functions. The beauty of this distinction is that it seems to make intuitive sense and to map onto historical and conceptual constellations in (...)
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  5. Sexual Selection, Aesthetic Choice, and Agency.Hugh Desmond - forthcoming - In Elisabeth Gayon, Philippe Huneman, Victor Petit & Michel Veuille (eds.), 150 Years of the Descent of Man. New York: Routledge.
    Darwin hypothesized that some animals, when selecting sexual partners, possess a genuine “sense of beauty” that cannot be accounted for by the logic of natural selection. This hypothesis has been notoriously controversial. In this chapter I propose that the concept of agency can be useful to operationalize the “sense of beauty”, and can help identify the conditions under which one can infer that animals are acting as (aesthetic) agents. Focusing on a case study of the behavior of the Pavo cristatus, (...)
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  6. Biology and Teleology in Aristotle’s Account of the City.Mariska Leunissen - forthcoming - In Julius Rocca (ed.), Teleology in the Ancient World: The Dispensation of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  7. Aquinas and the Varieties of Dependence.Paolini Paoletti Michele - forthcoming - Dialectica.
    I wish to prove in this article that Thomas Aquinas was a metaontological pluralist, i.e., that he held that there are many, non-equivalent and irreducible dependence relations in the universe. In this respect, I shall focus on Aquinas' doctrine of the four causes and on the dependence relationships between matter and form in material substances. Subsequently, I shall also reconstruct Aquinas' doctrines by explicitly appealing to metaontological pluralism. I shall explore two routes towards Aquinas' metaontological pluralism: one based on cases (...)
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  8. Social Evolution, Progress and Teleology in Spencer's Synthetic Philosophy and Freudian Psychoanalysis.L. Nascimento - forthcoming - History of the Human Sciences.
    This article aims to compare notions of progress and evolution in the social theories of Freud and Spencer. It argues 1) that the two authors had similarly complex theories that contained mixed elements of positivism and teleology; 2) In its positivist elements, both authors made use of unified natural laws and, in its teleological aspect, they made use of notions of final cause in that progress and the evolution of civilization was understood as a linear path of progressive development with (...)
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  9. Teleological Arguments for God's Existence.Del Ratzsch - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  10. Teleology in the Ancient World: The Dispensation of Nature.Julius Rocca (ed.) - forthcoming - Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  11. Organisational teleology 2.0: Grounding biological purposiveness in regulatory control.Leonardo Bich - 2024 - Ratio.
    This paper critically revises the organisational account of teleology, which argues that living systems are first and foremost oriented towards a goal: maintaining their own conditions of existence. It points out some limitations of this account, mainly in the capability to account for the richness and complexity of biological systems and their purposeful behaviours. It identifies the reason of these limitations in the theoretical grounding of this account, specifically in the too narrow notion of closure of constraints, focused on self-production. (...)
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  12. Life and Mind: The Common Tetradic Structure of Organism and Consciousness – a Phenomenological Approach.Christoph Hueck - 2024 - Dialectical Systems: A Forum in Biology, Ecology, and Cognitive Science.
    The question of the holistic structure of an organism is a recurring theme in the philosophy of biology and has been increasingly discussed again in recent years. Organisms have recently been described as complex systems that autonomously create, maintain and reproduce themselves while constantly interacting with their environment. Key focal points include their autopoiesis, autonomy, agency and teleological structure. This perspective marks a significant advancement from the 20th-century viewpoint, which predominantly saw organisms as genetically programmed, randomly generated and blindly selected (...)
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  13. Animism and Science in European Perspective.Jeff Kochan - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 103:46-57.
    The European tradition makes a sharp distinction between animism and science. On the basis of this distinction, either animism is reproved for failing to reach the heights of science, or science is reproved for failing to reach the heights of animism. In this essay, I draw on work in the history and philosophy and science, combined with a method from the sociology of scientific knowledge, to question the sharpness of this distinction. Along the way, I also take guidance from the (...)
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  14. The Path of Life.Agustin Ostachuk - 2024 - The Unfolding.
    The question about life is inevitable. Our life is essentially what we are, what emerges within us at every moment. Our daily existence constantly leads us to think that our life is our circumstances, all the events that happen around us all the time. There is a dissonance and a sense of internal strangeness when we try to explain life rationally, mechanistically. But then, if life cannot be known by dissecting it, analyzing it, how can it be known? This question (...)
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  15. Neo-Aristotelian Naturalism, Local Ethical Supervenience, and the Beneficial Character of Virtue.Richard Friedrich Runge - 2024 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie 7:23-46.
  16. Explanation, teleology, and analogy in natural history and comparative anatomy around 1800: Kant and Cuvier.Hein van den Berg - 2024 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 105 (C):109-119.
    This paper investigates conceptions of explanation, teleology, and analogy in the works of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and Georges Cuvier (1769-1832). Richards (2000, 2002) and Zammito (2006, 2012, 2018) have argued that Kant’s philosophy provided an obstacle for the project of establishing biology as a proper science around 1800. By contrast, Russell (1916), Outram (1986), and Huneman (2006, 2008) have argued, similar to suggestions from Lenoir (1989), that Kant’s philosophy influenced the influential naturalist Georges Cuvier. In this article, I wish to (...)
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  17. Natural Death and Teleology in Aristotle’s Science of Living Beings.Lorenzo Zemolin - 2024 - Apeiron 57 (2):289-314.
    According to most interpreters, Aristotle explains death as the result of material processes of the body going against the nature of the living being. Yet, this description is incomplete, for it does not clarify the relationship between the process of decay and the teleological system in which it occurs: this makes it impossible to distinguish between natural and violent death. In this paper, I try to fill this gap by looking at his so-called ‘biological works’ and mainly at the De (...)
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  18. Evolution in the Double Stream of Time - An inner Morphology of Organic Thought (2nd edition).Christoph J. Hueck - 2023 - Stuttgart: Akanthos Academy.
    This book shows that in the naturalistic and Darwinian explanation of life and its evolution, a decisive factor is overlooked, namely the human, knowing mind. The questions about life and its evolution can be answered if consciousness is taken into account not as a spectator, but as an integral part of reality. In the first-person-perception of cognition, the forces and laws of organic development can be observed and explored. It becomes apparent that evolution was not a random event, but the (...)
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  19. Artifacts and the Limits of Agentive Authority.Kathrin Koslicki - 2023 - In Miguel Garcia-Godinez (ed.), Thomasson on Ontology. Springer Verlag. pp. 209-241.
    Amie Thomasson and other proponents of author-intention-based accounts of artifacts hold that an artifact is what its original author(s) intended it to be. By contrast, according to the user-based framework developed by Beth Preston, an artifact’s function is determined by the practices of users and reproducers. In this chapter, I argue that both author-intention-based and user-based frameworks suffer from an overly agent-centric orientation: despite their many interesting differences, both approaches run into difficulties with scenarios in which the attitudes or dispositions (...)
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  20. Quantum Indeterminism, Free Will, and Self-Causation.Marco Masi - 2023 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 30 (5-6):32–56.
    A view that emancipates free will by means of quantum indeterminism is frequently rejected based on arguments pointing out its incompatibility with what we know about quantum physics. However, if one carefully examines what classical physical causal determinism and quantum indeterminism are according to physics, it becomes clear what they really imply–and, especially, what they do not imply–for agent-causation theories. Here, we will make necessary conceptual clarifications on some aspects of physical determinism and indeterminism, review some of the major objections (...)
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  21. The good and the powers.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2023 - Analytic Philosophy:1-30.
    Neo-Aristotelian views of goodness hold that the goodness of something is strictly connected with its goal(s). In this article, I shall present a power-based, Neo-Aristotelian view of goodness. I shall claim that there are certain powers (i.e., Goodness-Conferring Powers, or GC-powers in short) that confer goodness upon their bearers and upon the resulting actions. And I shall suggest that GC-powers are strongly teleological tendencies. In Section 1, I shall present the kernel of Neo-Aristotelian conceptions of goodness. In Section 2, I (...)
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  22. Evolutionary Causation and Teleosemantics.Tiago Rama - 2023 - In José Manuel Viejo & Mariano Sanjuán (eds.), Life and Mind - New Directions in the Philosophy of Biology and Cognitive Sciences. Springer.
    Disputes about the causal structure of natural selection have implications for teleosemantics. Etiological, mainstream teleosemantics is based on a causalist view of natural selection. The core of its solution to Brentano’s Problem lies in the solution to Kant’s Puzzle provided by the Modern Synthesis concerning populational causation. In this paper, I suggest that if we adopt an alternative, statisticalist view on natural selection, the door is open for two reflections. First, it allows for setting different challenges to etiological teleosemantics that (...)
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  23. Naturalized Teleology: Cybernetics, Organization, Purpose.Carl Sachs - 2023 - Topoi 42 (3):781-791.
    The rise of mechanistic science in the seventeenth century helped give rise to a heated debate about whether teleology—the appearance of purposive activity in life and in mind—could be naturalized. At issue here were both what is meant by “teleology” as well as what is meant “nature”. I shall examine a specific episode in the history of this debate in the twentieth century with the rise of cybernetics: the science of seemingly “self-controlled” systems. Against cybernetics, Hans Jonas argued that cybernetics (...)
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  24. What’s at stake in the debate over naturalizing teleology? An overlooked metatheoretical debate.Carl Sachs & Auguste Nahas - 2023 - Synthese 201 (4):1-22.
    Recent accounts of teleological naturalism hold that organisms are intrinsically goaldirected entities. We argue that supporters and critics of this view have ignored the ways in which it is used to address quite different problems. One problem is about biology and concerns whether an organism-centered account of teleological ascriptions would improve our descriptions and explanations of biological phenomena. This is different from the philosophical problem of how naturalized teleology would affect our conception of nature, and of ourselves as natural beings. (...)
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  25. Evolution within the body: The rise and fall of somatic Darwinism in the late nineteenth century.Bartlomiej Swiatczak - 2023 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 45 (8):1-27.
    Originating in the work of Ernst Haeckel and Wilhelm Preyer, and advanced by a Prussian embryologist, Wilhelm Roux, the idea of struggle for existence between body parts helped to establish a framework, in which population cell dynamics rather than a predefined harmony guides adaptive changes in an organism. Intended to provide a causal-mechanical view of functional adjustments in body parts, this framework was also embraced later by early pioneers of immunology to address the question of vaccine effectiveness and pathogen resistance. (...)
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  26. Against Arguments From Diagnostic Reasoning.Jeske Toorman - 2023 - Cognitive Science 47 (11):e13376.
    Recent work in cognitive psychology and experimental semantics indicates that people do not categorize natural kinds solely by virtue of their purported scientific essence. Two attempts have been made to explain away the data by appealing to the idea that participants in these studies are reasoning diagnostically. I will argue that an appeal to diagnostic reasoning will likely not help to explain away the data.
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  27. Claude Tresmontant, métaphysicien de l’inachevé (1925-1997). Actes de la journée d’étude du 2 février 2019.Philippe Gagnon (ed.) - 2022 - Paris: L'Harmattan.
    (Back Cover:) « La pensée métaphysique renaîtra demain. Ce sont des savants qui ont le goût et le sens de la pensée conduite jusqu’au terme de ses exigences internes, et des philosophes initiés aux sciences expérimentales qui, en commun, la feront. » L’œuvre de Claude Tresmontant (1925-1997) illustre parfaitement cette recherche de la métaphysique d’un monde en devenir, qui sait écouter et se modeler sur la transformation – la métamorphose – promise à une Création finalisée. Le trait commun aux exposés (...)
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  28. "La vision informationnelle de Tresmontant, surtout en référence au problème de l'âme".Philippe Gagnon - 2022 - In Claude Tresmontant, métaphysicien de l’inachevé (1925-1997). Actes de la journée d’étude du 2 février 2019. Paris: L'Harmattan. pp. 133-153.
  29. On the naturalisation of teleology: self-organisation, autopoiesis and teleodynamics.Miguel Garcia-Valdecasas - 2022 - Adaptive Behavior 30 (2):103-117.
    In recent decades, several theories have claimed to explain the teleological causality of organisms as a function of self-organising and self-producing processes. The most widely cited theories of this sort are variations of autopoiesis, originally introduced by Maturana and Varela. More recent modifications of autopoietic theory have focused on system organisation, closure of constraints and autonomy to account for organism teleology. This article argues that the treatment of teleology in autopoiesis and other organisation theories is inconclusive for three reasons: First, (...)
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  30. Essentialism vs. Potentialism: Allies or Competitors?Kathrin Koslicki - 2022 - Philosophisches Jahrbuch 129 (2):325-338.
    Do essence-based accounts of necessity and Vetter’s potentiality-based account of possibility in fact lead to the same result, viz., a single derived notion of necessity that is interdefinable with possibility or vice versa? And does each approach independently have the ability to reach its desired goal without having to rely on the primitive notion utilized by the other? In this essay, I investigate these questions and Vetter’s responses to them. Contrary to the “separatist” position defended by Vetter, I argue that (...)
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  31. Darwinian Functional Biology.Ginnobili Santiago - 2022 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 37 (2):233-255.
    Abstract One of the most important things that the Darwinian revolution affected is the previous teleological thinking. In particular, the attribution of functions to various entities of the natural world with explanatory pretensions. In this change, his theory of natural selection played an important role. We all agree on that, but the diversity and heterogeneity of the answers that try to explain what Darwin did exactly with functional biology are overwhelming. In this paper I will try to show how Darwin (...)
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  32. An externalist teleology.Gunnar Babcock & Daniel W. McShea - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8755-8780.
    Teleology has a complicated history in the biological sciences. Some have argued that Darwin’s theory has allowed biology to purge itself of teleological explanations. Others have been content to retain teleology and to treat it as metaphorical, or have sought to replace it with less problematic notions like teleonomy. And still others have tried to naturalize it in a way that distances it from the vitalism of the nineteenth century, focusing on the role that function plays in teleological explanation. No (...)
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  33. Projection or encounter? Investigating Hans Jonas’ case for natural teleology.Sigurd Hverven & Thomas Netland - 2021 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 22 (2):313-338.
    This article discusses Hans Jonas’ argument for teleology in living organisms, in light of recently raised concerns over enactivism’s “Jonasian turn.” Drawing on textual resources rarely discussed in contemporary enactivist literature on Jonas’ philosophy, we reconstruct five core ideas of his thinking: 1) That natural science’s rejection of teleology is methodological rather than ontological, and thus not a proof of its non-existence; 2) that denial of the reality of teleology amounts to a performative self-contradiction; 3) that the fact of evolution (...)
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  34. Animism and Natural Teleology from Avicenna to Boyle.Jeff Kochan - 2021 - Science in Context 34 (1):1-23.
    Historians have claimed that the two closely related concepts of animism and natural teleology were both decisively rejected in the Scientific Revolution. They tout Robert Boyle as an early modern warden against pre-modern animism. Discussing Avicenna, Aquinas, and Buridan, as well as Renaissance psychology, I instead suggest that teleology went through a slow and uneven process of rationalization. As Neoplatonic theology gained influence over Aristotelian natural philosophy, the meaning of animism likewise grew obscure. Boyle, as some historians have shown, exemplifies (...)
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  35. Intuitions about Objects: From Teleology to Elimination.David Mark Kovacs - 2021 - Mind 130 (517):199-213.
    In a series of recent papers, David Rose and Jonathan Schaffer use a number of experiments to show that folk intuitions about composition and persistence are driven by pre-scientific teleological tendencies. They argue that these intuitions are fit for debunking and that the playing field for competing accounts of composition and persistence should therefore be considered even: no view draws more support from folk intuitions than its rivals, and the choice between them should be made exclusively on the basis of (...)
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  36. Against Teleological Essentialism.Eleonore Neufeld - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12961.
    In two recent papers, Rose and Nichols present evidence in favor of the view that humans represent category essences in terms of a telos, such as honey-making, and not in terms of scientific essences, such as bee DNA. In this paper, I challenge their interpretation of the evidence, and show that it is directly predicted by the main theory they seek to undermine. I argue that their results can be explained as instances of diagnostic reasoning about scientific essences.
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  37. A Functional Naturalism.Anthony Nguyen - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):295-313.
    I provide two arguments against value-free naturalism. Both are based on considerations concerning biological teleology. Value-free naturalism is the thesis that both (1) everything is, at least in principle, under the purview of the sciences and (2) all scientific facts are purely non-evaluative. First, I advance a counterexample to any analysis on which natural selection is necessary to biological teleology. This should concern the value-free naturalist, since most value-free analyses of biological teleology appeal to natural selection. My counterexample is unique (...)
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  38. Teleological powers.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (4):336-358.
    Analytic Philosophy, Volume 62, Issue 4, Page 336-358, December 2021.
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  39. Functional Powers.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2021 - In Ludger Jansen & Petter Sandstad (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.
    I introduce functional powers, i.e., causal powers that play the role of functions. In the first section, I characterize functions and present some desiderata for a good theory of functions. In the second section, I make some assumptions about the ontology of powers, teleology and structures-that will be helpful in order to ground my account of functional powers. In the third section, sixteen different types of functional powers are examined. All such types of functional powers will exhaustively contribute to performing (...)
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  40. Functional Powers.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2021 - In Ludger Jansen & Petter Sandstad (eds.), Neo-Aristotelian Perspectives on Formal Causation. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. pp. 124-148.
    I introduce functional powers, i.e., causal powers that play the role of functions. In the first section, I characterize functions and present some desiderata for a good theory of functions. In the second section, I make some assumptions about the ontology of powers, teleology and structures-that will be helpful in order to ground my account of functional powers. In the third section, sixteen different types of functional powers are examined. All such types of functional powers will exhaustively contribute to performing (...)
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  41. Strong continuity of life and mind: the free energy framework, predictive processing and ecological psychology.Matthew Sims - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
    Located at the intersection of philosophy of cognitive science and philosophy of biology, this thesis aims to provide a novel approach to understanding the strong continuity between life and mind. This thesis applies the Free Energy Framework, predictive processing and the conceptual apparatus from ecological psychology to reveal different manners in which the organizational processes and principles underlying life have been enriched so as to result in cognitive processes. By using these anticipatory cognitive frameworks this thesis unveils different forms of (...)
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  42. Speusippus, teleology and the metaphysics of value: Theophrastus’ Metaphysics 11a18–26.Wei Cheng - 2020 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 140:143-175.
    This paper reexamines Theophrastus’ Metaphysics 11a18–26, an obscure testimony about Speusippus, the second head of the Platonic Academy. As opposed to the traditional interpretation, which takes this passage as Theophrastus’ polemic against Speusippus’ doctrine of value, I argue that he here dialectically takes advantage of, rather than launches an attack on, the Platonist. Based on this new reading, I further propose a revision and a reassessment of the ‘gloomy metaphysics’ of Speusippus which will shed new light on his ethics.
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  43. The Ontology of Organismic Agency: A Kantian Approach.Hugh Desmond & Philippe Huneman - 2020 - In Andrea Altobrando & Pierfrancesco Biasetti (eds.), Natural Born Monads: On the Metaphysics of Organisms and Human Individuals. De Gruyter. pp. 33-64.
    Biologists explain organisms’ behavior not only as having been programmed by genes and shaped by natural selection, but also as the result of an organism’s agency: the capacity to react to environmental changes in goal-driven ways. The use of such ‘agential explanations’ reopens old questions about how justified it is to ascribe agency to entities like bacteria or plants that obviously lack rationality and even a nervous system. Is organismic agency genuinely ‘real’ or is it just a useful fiction? In (...)
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  44. From Life-Like to Mind-Like Explanation: Natural Agency and the Cognitive Sciences.Alex Djedovic - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Toronto, St. George Campus
    This dissertation argues that cognition is a kind of natural agency. Natural agency is the capacity that certain systems have to act in accordance with their own norms. Natural agents are systems that bias their repertoires in response to affordances in the pursuit of their goals. Cognition is a special mode of this general phenomenon. Cognitive systems are agents that have the additional capacity to actively take their worlds to be certain ways, regardless of whether the world is really that (...)
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  45. From Life-Like to Mind-Like Explanation: Natural Agency and the Cognitive Sciences.Alex Djedovic - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Toronto, St. George Campus
    This dissertation argues that cognition is a kind of natural agency. Natural agency is the capacity that certain systems have to act in accordance with their own norms. Natural agents are systems that bias their repertoires in response to affordances in the pursuit of their goals. -/- Cognition is a special mode of this general phenomenon. Cognitive systems are agents that have the additional capacity to actively take their worlds to be certain ways, regardless of whether the world is really (...)
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  46. Teleology: A History.Jeffrey K. McDonough (ed.) - 2020 - New York, NY, United States of America: Oxford University Press.
    This volume explores the intuitive yet puzzling concept of teleology as it has been treated by philosophers from the time of Plato and Aristotle to the present day. Philosophical discussions are enlivened and contextualized by reflections on the implications of teleology in medicine, art, poetry, and music.
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  47. The Unfolding of a New Vision of Life, Cosmos and Evolution.Agustin Ostachuk - 2020 - Ludus Vitalis 28 (53):81-83.
    Has science already answered the fundamental questions about the concepts of Life, Cosmos and Evolution? Has science not relegated these fundamental questions by following up on more immediate, “useful” and practical endeavors that ultimately ensure that the wheel of capitalism keeps spinning in its frantic search for material and economic progress? There is something terribly wrong with the current theory of evolution, understood as the Darwinian theory with its successive versions and extensions. The concept of natural selection, the cornerstone of (...)
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  48. A Theory of Evolution as a Process of Unfolding.Agustin Ostachuk - 2020 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 16 (1):347-379.
    In this work I propose a theory of evolution as a process of unfolding. This theory is based on four logically concatenated principles. The principle of evolutionary order establishes that the more complex cannot be generated from the simpler. The principle of origin establishes that there must be a maximum complexity that originates the others by logical deduction. Finally, the principle of unfolding and the principle of actualization guarantee the development of the evolutionary process from the simplest to the most (...)
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  49. Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms.Jason Winning - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (33):1-22.
    In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical (...)
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  50. The Emotional Mind: the affective roots of culture and cognition.Stephen Asma & Rami Gabriel - 2019 - Harvard University Press.
    Tracing the leading role of emotions in the evolution of the mind, a philosopher and a psychologist pair up to reveal how thought and culture owe less to our faculty for reason than to our capacity to feel. Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain’s computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only the day before yesterday. For nearly 200 million years before humans developed a capacity to reason, the emotional centers of the brain were (...)
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