Idealistic Studies 18 (3):239-246 (1988)

Under the influence of rationalism and various forms of absolute idealism in the nineteenth century, teleology took on the nature of fixity; the universe was held to be fulfilling a definite telos. Such teleology defined a closed universe. In the latter half of the same century the American pragmatists, under the influence of Bergson and Renouvier, began to develop their notion of an open universe: one whose possibilities were not predetermined but were evolving creatively. This necessarily involved a change in the understanding of teleology as reflected, for example, in C. S. Peirce’s 1892 account of “developmental teleology.” These changes in turn led to the “open universe” views of Whitehead, Hartshorne, and process theology in general. Within this historical framework one view which deserves some recognition for its role in this transition is often overlooked, that is, the personalism of Borden Parker Bowne. Bowne’s personalism suggests both the need for redefining teleology and two possible avenues for accomplishing such redefinition.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI idstudies198818331
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