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  1. Optimality and Teleology in Aristotle's Natural Science.Devin Henry - manuscript
    In this paper I examine the role of optimality reasoning in Aristotle’s natural science. By “optimality reasoning” I mean reasoning that appeals to some conception of “what is best” in order to explain why things are the way they are. We are first introduced to this pattern of reasoning in the famous passage at Phaedo 97b8-98a2, where (Plato’s) Socrates invokes “what is best” as a cause (aitia) of things in nature. This passage can be seen as the intellectual ancestor of (...)
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  2. Biosemiotics, Aboutness, Meaning and Bio-Intentionality. Proposal for an Evolutionary Approach (Biosemiotics Gatherings 2015).Christophe Menant - manuscript
    The management of meaningful information by biological entities is at the core of biosemiotics [Hoffmeyer 2010]. Intentionality, the ‘aboutness’ of mental states, is a key driver in philosophy of mind. Philosophers have been reluctant to use intentionality for non human animals. Some biologists have been in favor of it. J. Hoffmeyer has been using evolutionary intentionality and Peircean semiotics to discuss a biosemiotic approach to the problem of intentionality [Hoffmeyer 1996, 2012]. Also, recent philosophical studies are bringing new openings on (...)
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  3. Striving (Conatus).Valtteri Viljanen - manuscript
    The entry on striving (conatus) for the Cambridge Spinoza Lexicon, edited by Karolina Hübner and Justin Steinberg. This is the October 2021 draft; please do not quote, but comments are very welcome.
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  4. Teleomechanism Redux? The Conceptual Hybridity of Living Machines in Early Modern Natural Philosophy.Charles T. Wolfe - manuscript
    We have been accustomed at least since Kant and mainstream history of philosophy to distinguish between the ‘mechanical’ and the ‘teleological’; between a fully mechanistic, quantitative science of Nature exemplified by Newton and a teleological, qualitative approach to living beings ultimately expressed in the concept of ‘organism’ – a purposive entity, or at least an entity possessed of functions. The beauty of this distinction is that it seems to make intuitive sense and to map onto historical and conceptual constellations in (...)
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  5. Biology and Teleology in Aristotle’s Account of the City.Mariska Leunissen - forthcoming - In Julius Rocca (ed.), Teleology in the Ancient World: The Dispensation of Nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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  6. On the Naturalisation of Teleology: Self-Organisation, Autopoiesis and Teleodynamics.Miguel Garcia-Valdecasas - 2022 - Adaptive Behavior 30 (2):103-117.
    In recent decades, several theories have claimed to explain the teleological causality of organisms as a function of self-organising and self-producing processes. The most widely cited theories of this sort are variations of autopoiesis, originally introduced by Maturana and Varela. More recent modifications of autopoietic theory have focused on system organisation, closure of constraints and autonomy to account for organism teleology. This article argues that the treatment of teleology in autopoiesis and other organisation theories is inconclusive for three reasons: First, (...)
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  7. Darwinian Functional Biology.Ginnobili Santiago - 2022 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 37 (2):233-255.
    Abstract One of the most important things that the Darwinian revolution affected is the previous teleological thinking. In particular, the attribution of functions to various entities of the natural world with explanatory pretensions. In this change, his theory of natural selection played an important role. We all agree on that, but the diversity and heterogeneity of the answers that try to explain what Darwin did exactly with functional biology are overwhelming. In this paper I will try to show how Darwin (...)
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  8. An Externalist Teleology.Gunnar Babcock & Daniel W. McShea - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8755-8780.
    Teleology has a complicated history in the biological sciences. Some have argued that Darwin’s theory has allowed biology to purge itself of teleological explanations. Others have been content to retain teleology and to treat it as metaphorical, or have sought to replace it with less problematic notions like teleonomy. And still others have tried to naturalize it in a way that distances it from the vitalism of the nineteenth century, focusing on the role that function plays in teleological explanation. No (...)
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  9. Against Teleological Essentialism.Eleonore Neufeld - 2021 - Cognitive Science 45 (4):e12961.
    In two recent papers, Rose and Nichols present evidence in favor of the view that humans represent category essences in terms of a telos, such as honey-making, and not in terms of scientific essences, such as bee DNA. In this paper, I challenge their interpretation of the evidence, and show that it is directly predicted by the main theory they seek to undermine. I argue that their results can be explained as instances of diagnostic reasoning about scientific essences.
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  10. A Functional Naturalism.Anthony Nguyen - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):295-313.
    I provide two arguments against value-free naturalism. Both are based on considerations concerning biological teleology. Value-free naturalism is the thesis that both (1) everything is, at least in principle, under the purview of the sciences and (2) all scientific facts are purely non-evaluative. First, I advance a counterexample to any analysis on which natural selection is necessary to biological teleology. This should concern the value-free naturalist, since most value-free analyses of biological teleology appeal to natural selection. My counterexample is unique (...)
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  11. Speusippus, Teleology and the Metaphysics of Value: Theophrastus’ Metaphysics 11a18–26.Wei Cheng - 2020 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 140:143-175.
    This paper reexamines Theophrastus’ Metaphysics 11a18–26, an obscure testimony about Speusippus, the second head of the Platonic Academy. As opposed to the traditional interpretation, which takes this passage as Theophrastus’ polemic against Speusippus’ doctrine of value, I argue that he here dialectically takes advantage of, rather than launches an attack on, the Platonist. Based on this new reading, I further propose a revision and a reassessment of the ‘gloomy metaphysics’ of Speusippus which will shed new light on his ethics.
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  12. The Ontology of Organismic Agency: A Kantian Approach.Hugh Desmond & Philippe Huneman - 2020 - In Andrea Altobrando & Pierfrancesco Biasetti (eds.), Natural Born Monads: On the Metaphysics of Organisms and Human Individuals. De Gruyter. pp. 33-64.
    Biologists explain organisms’ behavior not only as having been programmed by genes and shaped by natural selection, but also as the result of an organism’s agency: the capacity to react to environmental changes in goal-driven ways. The use of such ‘agential explanations’ reopens old questions about how justified it is to ascribe agency to entities like bacteria or plants that obviously lack rationality and even a nervous system. Is organismic agency genuinely ‘real’ or is it just a useful fiction? In (...)
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  13. From Life-Like to Mind-Like Explanation: Natural Agency and the Cognitive Sciences.Alex Djedovic - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Toronto, St. George Campus
    This dissertation argues that cognition is a kind of natural agency. Natural agency is the capacity that certain systems have to act in accordance with their own norms. Natural agents are systems that bias their repertoires in response to affordances in the pursuit of their goals. Cognition is a special mode of this general phenomenon. Cognitive systems are agents that have the additional capacity to actively take their worlds to be certain ways, regardless of whether the world is really that (...)
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  14. A Theory of Evolution as a Process of Unfolding.Agustin Ostachuk - 2020 - Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy 16 (1):347-379.
    In this work I propose a theory of evolution as a process of unfolding. This theory is based on four logically concatenated principles. The principle of evolutionary order establishes that the more complex cannot be generated from the simpler. The principle of origin establishes that there must be a maximum complexity that originates the others by logical deduction. Finally, the principle of unfolding and the principle of actualization guarantee the development of the evolutionary process from the simplest to the most (...)
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  15. The Unfolding of a New Vision of Life, Cosmos and Evolution.Agustin Ostachuk - 2020 - Ludus Vitalis 28 (53):81-83.
    Has science already answered the fundamental questions about the concepts of Life, Cosmos and Evolution? Has science not relegated these fundamental questions by following up on more immediate, “useful” and practical endeavors that ultimately ensure that the wheel of capitalism keeps spinning in its frantic search for material and economic progress? There is something terribly wrong with the current theory of evolution, understood as the Darwinian theory with its successive versions and extensions. The concept of natural selection, the cornerstone of (...)
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  16. Artificial Life and ‘Nature’s Purposes’: The Question of Behavioral Autonomy.Elena Popa - 2020 - Human Affairs 30 (4):587-596.
    This paper investigates the concept of behavioral autonomy in Artificial Life by drawing a parallel to the use of teleological notions in the study of biological life. Contrary to one of the leading assumptions in Artificial Life research, I argue that there is a significant difference in how autonomous behavior is understood in artificial and biological life forms: the former is underlain by human goals in a way that the latter is not. While behavioral traits can be explained in relation (...)
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  17. Internal Perspectivalism: The Solution to Generality Problems About Proper Function and Natural Norms.Jason Winning - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (33):1-22.
    In this paper, I argue that what counts as the proper function of a trait is a matter of the de facto perspective that the biological system, itself, possesses on what counts as proper functioning for that trait. Unlike non-perspectival accounts, internal perspectivalism does not succumb to generality problems. But unlike external perspectivalism, internal perspectivalism can provide a fully naturalistic, mind-independent grounding of proper function and natural norms. The attribution of perspectives to biological systems is intended to be neither metaphorical (...)
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  18. The Emotional Mind: The Affective Roots of Culture and Cognition.Stephen Asma & Rami Gabriel - 2019 - Harvard University Press.
    Tracing the leading role of emotions in the evolution of the mind, a philosopher and a psychologist pair up to reveal how thought and culture owe less to our faculty for reason than to our capacity to feel. Many accounts of the human mind concentrate on the brain’s computational power. Yet, in evolutionary terms, rational cognition emerged only the day before yesterday. For nearly 200 million years before humans developed a capacity to reason, the emotional centers of the brain were (...)
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  19. An Organisational Approach to Biological Communication.Ramiro Frick, Leonardo Bich & Alvaro Moreno - 2019 - Acta Biotheoretica (2):103-128.
    This paper aims to provide a philosophical and theoretical account of biological communication grounded in the notion of organisation. The organisational approach characterises living systems as organised in such a way that they are capable to self-produce and self-maintain while in constant interaction with the environment. To apply this theoretical framework to the study of biological communication, we focus on a specific approach, based on the notion of influence, according to which communication takes place when a signal emitted by a (...)
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  20. Do Constancy Mechanisms Save Distal Content?Justin Garson - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (275):409-417.
    In this journal, Schulte develops a novel solution to the problem of distal content: by virtue of what is a mental representation about a distal object rather than a more proximal cause of that representation? Schulte maintains that in order for a representation to have a distal content, it must be produced by a constancy mechanism, along with two other conditions. I raise three objections to his solution. First, a core component of Schulte's solution is just a restrictive version of (...)
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  21. Teleosemantics, Selection and Novel Contents.Justin Garson & David Papineau - 2019 - Biology and Philosophy 34 (3):36.
    Mainstream teleosemantics is the view that mental representation should be understood in terms of biological functions, which, in turn, should be understood in terms of selection processes. One of the traditional criticisms of teleosemantics is the problem of novel contents: how can teleosemantics explain our ability to represent properties that are evolutionarily novel? In response, some have argued that by generalizing the notion of a selection process to include phenomena such as operant conditioning, and the neural selection that underlies it, (...)
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  22. Monsters, Laws of Nature, and Teleology in Late Scholastic Textbooks.Silvia Manzo - 2019 - In Pietro Omodeo & Rodolfo Garau (eds.), Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science. Springer Verlag. pp. 61-92.
    In the period of emergence of early modern science, ‘monsters’ or individuals with physical congenital anomalies were considered as rare events which required special explanations entailing assumptions about the laws of nature. This concern with monsters was shared by representatives of the new science and Late Scholastic authors of university textbooks. This paper will reconstruct the main theses of the treatment of monsters in Late Scholastic textbooks, by focusing on the question as to how their accounts conceived nature’s regularity and (...)
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  23. The Organism and its Umwelt: A Counterpoint Between the Theories of Uexküll, Goldstein and Canguilhem.Agustin Ostachuk - 2019 - In Jakob von Uexküll and Philosophy: Life, Environments, Anthropology. Londres, Reino Unido: pp. 158-171.
    The topic of the relationship between the organism and its environment runs through the theories of Uexküll, Goldstein and Canguilhem with equal importance. In this work a counterpoint will be established between their theories, in the attempt to assess at which points the melodies are concordant and at which points they are discordant. As fundamental basis to his theory, Uexküll relies on the concept of conformity to a plan, which allows him to account for the congruity and perfect adjustment between (...)
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  24. The Quest for a Holistic and Historical-Developmental Theory of the Organism.Agustin Ostachuk - 2019 - Ludus Vitalis 27 (51):23-42.
    In this work the doctrine of organicism will be addressed, as explained and seen mainly by Bertalanffy. We will study how this doctrine represents and embodies the ambiguity of Kantian teleology as a regulative principle, and how this same problem leads to consider a real problem as a knowledge problem. It will be concluded that organicism, conceived in this way, does not represent a true holism, but what we will call a syn-holism, a synthesis or assembly, and that to obtain (...)
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  25. How to Be a Function Pluralist.Justin Garson - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1101-1122.
    I distinguish two forms of pluralism about biological functions, between-discipline pluralism and within-discipline pluralism. Between-discipline pluralism holds that different theories of function are appropriate for different subdisciplines of biology and psychology. I provide reasons for rejecting this view. Instead, I recommend within-discipline pluralism, which emphasizes the plurality of function concepts at play within any given subdiscipline of biology and psychology.
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  26. A Generalized Selected Effects Theory of Function.Justin Garson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (3):523-543.
    I present and defend the generalized selected effects theory (GSE) of function. According to GSE, the function of a trait consists in the activity that contributed to its bearer’s differential reproduction, or differential retention, within a population. Unlike the traditional selected effects (SE) theory, it does not require that the functional trait helped its bearer reproduce; differential retention is enough. Although the core theory has been presented previously, I go significantly beyond those presentations by providing a new argument for GSE (...)
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  27. Against Organizational Functions.Justin Garson - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (5):1093-1103.
    Over the last 20 years, several philosophers have developed a new approach to biological functions, the organizational approach. This is not a single theory but a family of theories based on the idea that a trait token can acquire a function by virtue of the way it contributes to a complex, organized system and thereby to its own continued persistence as a token. I argue that the organizational approach faces a serious liberality objection. I examine three different ways organizational theorists (...)
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  28. Téléologie et fonctions en biologie. Une approche non causale des explications téléofonctionnelles.Alberto Molina Pérez - 2017 - Dissertation, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid
    This dissertation focuses on teleology and functions in biology. More precisely, it focuses on the scientific legitimacy of teleofunctional attributions and explanations in biology. It belongs to a multi-faceted debate that can be traced back to at least the 1970s. One aspect of the debate concerns the naturalization of functions. Most authors try to reduce, translate or explain functions and teleology in terms of efficient causes so that they find their place in the framework of the natural sciences. Our approach (...)
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  29. How Objective Are Biological Functions?Marcel Weber - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4741-4755.
    John Searle has argued that functions owe their existence to the value that we put into life and survival. In this paper, I will provide a critique of Searle’s argument concerning the ontology of functions. I rely on a standard analysis of functional predicates as relating not only a biological entity, an activity that constitutes the function of this entity and a type of system but also a goal state. A functional attribution without specification of such a goal state has (...)
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  30. Peat Bogs, Sperm, and Family Values: Teaching Naturalism Charitably.Marc Champagne - 2016 - Sexuality and Culture 20 (3):526–534.
    Introductory courses dealing with sex, gender and sexuality often assign excerpts from Thomas Aquinas as an exemplar of the naturalist view. Given that most novice students tend to side against such naturalism uncritically, they need to be exposed to a more charitable account of the biological considerations motivating a stance like Aquinas.’ With that in mind, this article presents accessible arguments aimed at restoring deliberative balance in the classroom.
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  31. A Teleofunctional Account of Evolutionary Mismatch.Nathan Cofnas - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):507-525.
    When the environment in which an organism lives deviates in some essential way from that to which it is adapted, this is described as “evolutionary mismatch,” or “evolutionary novelty.” The notion of mismatch plays an important role, explicitly or implicitly, in evolution-informed cognitive psychology, clinical psychology, and medicine. The evolutionary novelty of our contemporary environment is thought to have significant implications for our health and well-being. However, scientists have generally been working without a clear definition of mismatch. This paper defines (...)
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  32. Descartes on the Theory of Life and Methodology in the Life Sciences.Karen Detlefsen - 2016 - In Peter Distelzweig & Evan Ragland (eds.), Early Modern Medicine and Natural Philosophy. Springer. pp. 141-72.
    As a practicing life scientist, Descartes must have a theory of what it means to be a living being. In this paper, I provide an account of what his theoretical conception of living bodies must be. I then show that this conception might well run afoul of his rejection of final causal explanations in natural philosophy. Nonetheless, I show how Descartes might have made use of such explanations as merely hypothetical, even though he explicitly blocks this move. I conclude by (...)
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  33. Wie Epigenetik unser Weltbild ins Lot bringen kann.Paul Gottlob Layer - 2016 - BRIEFE Zur Orientierung Im Konflikt Mensch - Erde, Evangelische Akademie Sachsen-Anhalt E.V 121 (4):25-33.
    Seit der Aufklärung versucht der Mensch, Gott abzuschaffen. Dabei fällt der Zufälligkeit, und damit auch der Ziellosigkeit in der darwinistischen Sicht der Evolution besonderes Gewicht zu. Diese weithin akzeptierten Dogmen stehen diametral gegen jahrtausendealte Vorstellungen, die letztlich in allen Kulturen und Religionen hervorgebracht wurden, daß die Natur eine Schöpfung Gottes sei, in der der Mensch das höchste, Gott-ebenbildliche Wesen sei. Nach Erkenntnissen der klassischen Genetik schienen Gene an die Stelle von Gott getreten zu sein: sie haben absolute Gewalt und beherrschen (...)
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  34. The Principle of Life: from Aristotelian Psyche to Drieschian Entelechy.Agustin Ostachuk - 2016 - Ludus Vitalis 24 (45):37-59.
    Is life a simple result of a conjunction of physico-chemical processes? Can be reduced to a mere juxtaposition of spatially determined events? What epistemology or world-view allows us to comprehend it? Aristotle built a novel philosophical system in which nature is a dynamical totality which is in constant movement. Life is a manifestation of it, and is formed and governed by the psyche. Psyche is the organizational principle of the different biological levels: nutritive, perceptive and intelective. Driesch's crucial experiment provided (...)
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  35. From Aristotle’s Teleology to Darwin’s Genealogy: The Stamp of Inutility, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015 (Pdf: Contents, Introduction).Marco Solinas - 2015 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Starting with Aristotle and moving on to Darwin, Marco Solinas outlines the basic steps from the birth, establishment and later rebirth of the traditional view of living beings, and its overturning by evolutionary revolution. The classic framework devised by Aristotle was still dominant in the 17th Century world of Galileo, Harvey and Ray, and remained hegemonic until the time of Lamarck and Cuvier in the 19th Century. Darwin's breakthrough thus takes on the dimensions of an abandonment of the traditional finalistic (...)
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  36. Teleosemantics Without Etiology.Bence Nanay - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (5):798-810.
    The aim of teleosemantics is to give a scientifically respectable, or ‘naturalistic’ theory of mental content. In the debates surrounding the scope and merits of teleosemantics a lot has been said about the concept of indication (or carrying information). The aim of this paper is to focus on the other key concept of teleosemantics: biological function. It has been universally accepted in the teleosemantics literature that the account of biological function one should use to flesh out teleosemantics is that of (...)
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  37. The Umwelt of Uexküll and Merleau-Ponty.Agustin Ostachuk - 2013 - Ludus Vitalis 21 (39):45-65.
    The organism against its environment. The organism against other organisms, competing and struggling for life. Antagonism and confrontment as the only possible relation in nature. The tendency to anthropomorphize nature and explain it using concepts and facts from the human sphere. A stroll through the worlds of Uexküll and Merleau-Ponty in the search of alternative knowledge that allow us to understand relation from another point of view. A counterpoint and identification of common tonalities between the research programs from both thinkers (...)
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  38. Embryology, Developmental Biology, Evo-Devo.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2013 - The Harmonizer.
    The study of organisms within the range of their existence from fertilization to birth is referred to as embryology. The process of progressive change during that period is called development. That development does not stop at birth but continues on throughout the entire life-span of the organism as the process of growth and decay — catabolism, anabolism, and metabolism. The study of this entire range of life has recently become known as developmental biology. The belief that the development from an (...)
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  39. The Science of Spiritual Biology: Replies to Critics – Part 2.Bhakti Madhava Puri, Bhakti Niskama Shanta & Bhakti Vijnana Muni - 2013 - The Harmonizer.
    We received several critical comments regarding the "The Science of Spiritual Biology." We reply to those criticisms in order to further clarify some of the important points that were made. It is only to be expected that a strong emotional response may be evoked by the revolution in scientific thinking that the modern paradigm of cognitive biology presents. We have to be prepared to accept that, and maintain the integrity of the scientific approach.
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  40. Evolutionary Biology and Classical Teleological Arguments for God's Existence.James Dominic Rooney - 2013 - Heythrop Journal 54 (4):617-630.
    Much has been made of how Darwinian thinking destroyed proofs for the existence of God from ‘design’ in the universe. I challenge that prevailing view by looking closely at classical ‘teleological’ arguments for the existence of God. One version championed by Aristotle and Thomas Aquinas stems from how chance is not a sufficient kind of ultimate explanation of the universe. In the course of constructing this argument, I argue that the classical understanding of teleology is no less necessary in modern (...)
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  41. Nothing Good Will Come From Giving Up on Aetiological Accounts of Teleology.John Basl - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):543-546.
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  42. Robust Processes and Teleological Language.Jonathan Birch - 2012 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 2 (3):299-312.
    I consider some hitherto unexplored examples of teleological language in the sciences. In explicating these examples, I aim to show (a) that such language is not the sole preserve of the biological sciences, and (b) that not all such talk is reducible to the ascription of functions. In chemistry and biochemistry, scientists explaining molecular rearrangements and protein folding talk informally of molecules rearranging “in order to” maximize stability. Evolutionary biologists, meanwhile, often speak of traits evolving “in order to” optimize some (...)
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  43. If the Motor System is No Mirror'.Maria Brincker - 2012 - In Payette (ed.), Connected Minds: Cognition and Interaction in the Social World. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 158--182.
    Largely aided by the neurological discovery of so-called “ mirror neurons,” the attention to motor activity during action observation has exploded over the last two decades. The idea that we internally “ mirror ” the actions of others has led to a new strand of implicit simulation theories of action understanding[1][2]. The basic idea of this sort of simulation theory is that we, via an automatic covert activation of our own action representations, can understand the action and possibly the goal (...)
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  44. Function, Selection, and Construction in the Brain.Justin Garson - 2012 - Synthese 189 (3):451-481.
    A common misunderstanding of the selected effects theory of function is that natural selection operating over an evolutionary time scale is the only functionbestowing process in the natural world. This construal of the selected effects theory conflicts with the existence and ubiquity of neurobiological functions that are evolutionary novel, such as structures underlying reading ability. This conflict has suggested to some that, while the selected effects theory may be relevant to some areas of evolutionary biology, its relevance to neuroscience is (...)
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  45. A Biological Account of Design in Nature.Attila Grandpierre - 2012 - In Swan Liz, Gordon Richard & Seckbach Joseph (eds.), Origin of Design in Nature.
    We consider first the most fundamental „design in Nature”, the explanatory structure of the Universe on the basis of the natural sciences, and the related problem of teleology in Nature. We point out that it is necessary to generalize the presently used explanatory scheme of physics. We derive here the first essentially complete scientific world picture, and obtain new insights answering to the problem of cosmic design. Considering some important objections against teleology, we present counter-arguments, give a new classification of (...)
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  46. Biological Autonomy.Attila Grandpierre & Menas Kafatos - 2012 - Philosophy Study 2 (9):631-649.
    We argue that genuine biological autonomy, or described at human level as free will, requires taking into account quantum vacuum processes in the context of biological teleology. One faces at least three basic problems of genuine biological autonomy: (1) if biological autonomy is not physical, where does it come from? (2) Is there a room for biological causes? And (3) how to obtain a workable model of biological teleology? It is shown here that the solution of all these three problems (...)
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  47. Teleology and the Meaning of Life.Osamu Kiritani - 2012 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 33 (1-2):97-102.
    The “units of selection” debate in philosophy of biology addresses which entity benefits from natural selection. Nanay has tried to explain why we are obsessed with the question about the meaning of life, using the notion of group selection, although he is skeptical about answering the question from a biological point of view. The aim of this paper is to give a biological explanation to the meaning of life. I argue that the meaning of life is survival and reproduction, appealing (...)
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  48. On Nature and Normativity: Normativity, Teleology, and Mechanism in Biological Explanation.Lenny Moss & Daniel J. Nicholson - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (1):88-91.
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  49. The Science of Spiritual Biology.Bhakti Madhava Puri - 2012 - The Harmonizer.
    "Living systems are cognitive systems, and living as a process is a process of cognition." -H.R. Maturana, The Biology of Cognition (1970/1980) Just as the cell has gradually come to be understood as a highly regulated and unctionally integrated whole, so too is the biosphere now recognized as a finely balanced ecological whole in which local disturbances can create world-wide climatic catastrophe. The oversimplified ideas of biology that characterized the field in its immature beginning led to the theories of a (...)
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  50. Spiritual Biology: Reply to Critics - Part One.Bhakti Madhava Puri, Bhakti Niskama Shanta & Bhakti Vijnana Muni - 2012 - The Harmonizer.
    We received several critical comments regarding the "The Science of Spiritual Biology." We reply to those criticisms in order to further clarify some of the important points that were made. It is only to be expected that a strong emotional response may be evoked by the revolution in scientific thinking that the modern paradigm of cognitive biology presents. We have to be prepared to accept that, and maintain the integrity of the scientific approach.
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