Teleology Rises from the Grave

Philosophy Now 126:20-23 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

My short history of alternative teleology traditions should help us recognize that biological goal-directedness is not dependent on mind, that is, on divine design or occult prescient forces. Following Kant’s ‘instrumental’ teleology, I have shown that one can be anti-reductionist about biology without nesting holism in mind. The order of both knowledge and the process is incorrectly reversed in such mind-dependent philosophy. So against the philosophers who think mind precedes biology, I submit that biological teleology actually precedes the sophisticated purposiveness of human consciousness. That is to say, the conscious mind emerges out of more primitive forms of biological conatus or seeking, not the other way around. And the biological goal-driven aspect of life is not a form of vitalism, but an accidental marriage of rudimentary nervous system, sensory-motor system, homeostasic systems in the organism, and ecologies of limited resource. Nor are these factors working to render the universe susceptible to the birth of consciousness, whatever that means. Therefore there are perfectly legitimate forms of biological teleology that do not have conscious mind lurking behind them.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 91,252

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

The Dialectic of Teleology.Willem A. deVries - 1991 - Philosophical Topics 19 (2):51-70.
Teleology and agent-centeredness.Douglas J. Den Uyl - 1992 - The Monist 75 (1):14 - 33.
Hegel’s Use of Teleology.J. N. Findlay - 1964 - The Monist 48 (1):1-17.
Purpose and Teleology.J. L. Cowan - 1968 - The Monist 52 (3):317-328.
Rediscovering Eudaimonistic Teleology.Mary Hayden - 1992 - The Monist 75 (1):71-83.
Teleology of Nature in Aristotle.Joseph Owens - 1968 - The Monist 52 (2):159-173.
Functionalism, Teleology, and Objectivity.Paul Piccone - 1968 - The Monist 52 (3):408-423.
Teleology and the problem of transition.Bernd Dörflinger - 1992 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (S1):65-71.
Teleology and Mechanism in Kant’s Philosophy of History.Kevin E. Dodson - 1994 - Southwest Philosophy Review 10 (1):157-165.
Teleology in Spinoza’s Ethics.Kathleen League - 1992 - Southwest Philosophy Review 8 (1):77-83.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-10-19

Downloads
17 (#824,750)

6 months
2 (#1,182,310)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Stephen Asma
Columbia College Chicago

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references