Authors
Hannah Ginsborg
University of California, Berkeley
Abstract
I distinguish two senses in which organisms are mechanically inexplicable for Kant. Mechanical inexplicability in the first sense is shared with artefacts, and consists in their exhibiting regularities irreducible to the regularities of matter. Mechanical inexplicability in the second sense is peculiar to organisms, consisting in the reciprocal causal dependence of an organism's parts. This distinction corresponds to two strands of thought in Aristotle, one supporting a teleological conception of organisms, the other supporting a conception of organisms as natural. Recognizing this distinction helps us to see how a teleological conception of organisms is compatible with recent advances in biology.
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DOI 10.1353/hph.2004.0005
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Organisms as Natural Purposes: The Contemporary Evolutionary Perspective.D. M. Walsh - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (4):771-791.
Teleology Then and Now: The Question of Kant's Relevance for Contemporary Controversies Over Function in Biology.John Zammito - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (4):748-770.
Organisms as Natural Purposes: The Contemporary Evolutionary Perspective.D. M. Walsh - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (4):771-791.
Kant on Biological Teleology: Towards a Two-Level Interpretation.Marcel Quarfood - 2006 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 37 (4):735-747.
The Lenoir Thesis Revisited: Blumenbach and Kant.John H. Zammito - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):120-132.

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