Journal of the History of Philosophy 48 (3):259-282 (2010)
The Divide between the prominence of final causes in Aristotelian natural philosophy and the rejection or severe limitation of final causation as an acceptable explanation of the natural world by figures such as Bacon, Descartes, and Spinoza during the seventeenth century has been considered a distinguishing mark between pre-modern and modern science.1 Admittedly, proponents of the mechanical and corpuscular philosophies of the seventeenth century were not necessarily stark opponents of teleology. Pierre Gassendi and Robert Boyle endorsed teleology, Leibniz embraced entelechies, and they creep into Descartes's natural philosophy, despite his adamant attempts to eliminate them.2 Nonetheless, critiques of ends in ..
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