Synthese 194 (4):1027-1029 (2017)

Authors
John Basl
Northeastern University
Abstract
This paper addresses the foundations of Teleological Individualism, the view that organisms, even non-sentient organisms, are goal-oriented systems while biological collectives, such as ecosystems or conspecific groups, are mere assemblages of organisms. Typical defenses of Teleological Individualism ground the teleological organization of organisms in the workings of natural selection. This paper shows that grounding teleological organization in natural selection is antithetical to Teleological Individualism because such views assume a view about the units of selection on which it is only individual organisms that are units of selection. However, none of the Conventionalist, Reductionist, or Multi-Level Realist theories serve to justify such an assumption. Thus, Teleological Individualism cannot be grounded in natural selection.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1316-0
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References found in this work BETA

On the Origin of Species.Charles Darwin - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
Animal Liberation.Peter Singer (ed.) - 1977 - Avon Books.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.

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Citations of this work BETA

Functional Ecology's Non-Selectionist Understanding of Function.Antoine C. Dussault - 2018 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 70:1-9.
A Functional Naturalism.Anthony Nguyen - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):295-313.
Why Wake the Dead? Identity and De-Extinction.Christopher Hunter Lean - 2020 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 33 (3-6):571-589.

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