Darwin’s Rehabilitation of Teleology Versus Williams’ Replacement of Teleology by Natural Selection

Biological Theory 5 (4):357-365 (2010)
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Abstract

Williams argued that Darwin replaced teleology by natural selection. This article argues that this idea is based on a misunderstanding of Darwin’s critique of the argument from design. Darwin did not replace teleology by evolutionary explanations but showed that we can understand teleology without referring to a Designer. He eliminated the concept of design and rehabilitated Aristotelian teleological explanations. The implication is that adaptations should not be investigated as if designed, but with the help of both teleological and evolutionary explanations. It is argued that elaborations of teleological explanations enable us to reconcile evolutionary theory and other fields in science.

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References found in this work

Evolution and the levels of selection.Samir Okasha - 2006 - New York: Oxford University Press.
The origin of species by means of natural selection.Charles Darwin - 1859 - Franklin Center, Pa.: Franklin Library. Edited by J. W. Burrow.
The Study of Instinct.N. Tinbergen - 1954 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 5 (17):72-76.
Evolution and the Levels of Selection.Samir Okasha - 2009 - Critica 41 (123):162-170.
The Major Transitions in Evolution.John Maynard Smith & Eörs Szathmáry - 1996 - Journal of the History of Biology 29 (1):151-152.

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