How to Be a Realist About Sui Generis Teleology Yet Feel at Home in the 21St Century

The Monist 87 (1):72-95 (2004)
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Contemporary discussion of biological teleology has been dominated by a complacent orthodoxy. Responsibility for this shortcoming rests primarily, I think, with those who ought to have been challenging dogma but have remained silent, leaving the orthodox to grow soft, if happily. In this silence, champions of orthodoxy have declared a signal victory, proclaiming the dominance of their view as one of philosophy’s historic successes. But this declaration is premature at best—this would be neither the first nor probably the last time that a narrow school of philosophy has declared the resolution of age-old problems only to have those problems rise from the ashes of their better selves when a broader view is articulated. I propose to challenge orthodoxy by undermining its fundamental assumption and to enlist the help of others in articulating a formidable heterodox alternative to contemporary dogma concerning biological teleology, perhaps on the model I sketch below.
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Computers.Piccinini, Gualtiero

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