In David L. Hull & Michael Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press (2007)
Teleology in biology is making headline news in the United States. Conservative Christians are utilizing a teleological argument for the existence of a supremely intelligent designer to justify legislation calling for the teaching of "intelligent design" (ID) in public schools. Teleological arguments of one form or another have been around since Antiquity. The contemporary argument from intelligent design varies little from William Paley's argument written in 1802. Both argue that nature exhibits too much complexity to be explained by 'mindless' natural forces alone. We need to postulate the existence of an intelligent designer, a creator with forethought and purpose. The inference to an intelligent creator harkens back to Plato’s teleological argument for the order of the cosmos. Plato’s demiurge is a creator that imposes order on the cosmos. Yet, as we shall see when we analyze the distinctly biological form of the more contemporary teleological arguments we will find remanants of Aristotle’s distinctive argument from functional arrangement, but without his distinctive form of telos which is unconscious and immanent rather than intelligent and creative from on high. The aim of this article is to survey various teleological arguments since Antiquity. Since a variant on Paley's argument—ID—is getting so much recent press I will start with a discussion on the nature of Paley’s teleology.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Consequence Etiology and Biological Teleology in Aristotle and Darwin.David J. Depew - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (4):379-390.
The Fate of Darwinism: Evolution After the Modern Synthesis.David J. Depew & Bruce H. Weber - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (1):89-102.
The Dispositionalist Deity: How God Creates Laws and Why Theists Should Care.Ben Page - 2015 - Zygon 50 (1):113-137.
Consequence Etiology and Biological Teleology in Aristotle and Darwin.David J. Depew - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 39 (4):379-390.
Similar books and articles
Reconsidering the Place of Teleological Arguments for the Existence of God in the Light of the ID/Evolution Controversy.James Dominic Rooney - 2009 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 83:227 - 240.
What is Wrong with Intelligent Design?Gregory W. Dawes - 2007 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 61 (2):69 - 81.
Platonic and Aristotelian Roots of Teleological Arguments in Cosmology and Biology.Andre Ariew - manuscript
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads60 ( #87,744 of 2,171,803 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #326,702 of 2,171,803 )
How can I increase my downloads?