Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 39 (4):379-390 (2008)
Aristotle’s biological teleology is rooted in an epigenetic account of reproduction. As such, it is best interpreted by consequence etiology. I support this claim by citing the capacity of consequence etiology’s key distinctions to explain Aristotle’s opposition to Empedocles. There are implications for the relation between ancient and modern biology. The analysis reveals that in an important respect Darwin’s account of adaptation is closer to Aristotle’s than to Empedocles’s. They both rely on consequence etiological considerations to evade attributing the purposiveness of organisms to chance. Two implications follow: Darwinian explanations of adaptation are as teleological as Aristotle’s, albeit differently; and these differences show how deeply resistant Aristotle’s version of biological teleology is to descent from a common ancestor
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Citations of this work BETA
Adaptation as Process: The Future of Darwinism and the Legacy of Theodosius Dobzhansky.David J. Depew - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C 42 (1):89-98.
Evolutionary Biology and Classical Teleological Arguments for God's Existence.James Dominic Rooney - 2013 - Heythrop Journal 54 (4):617-630.
The Fate of Darwinism: Evolution After the Modern Synthesis.David J. Depew & Bruce H. Weber - 2011 - Biological Theory 6 (1):89-102.
Adaptation as Process: The Future of Darwinism and the Legacy of Theodosius Dobzhansky.David J. Depew - 2011 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 42 (1):89-98.
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