Naturteleologie, reduktiv

Philosophisches Jahrbuch 113 (2):296--315 (2006)
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The sciences may be able to describe living beings, but this is not to account for their life. Life is not a describable property of things. There is also no philosophical a priori argument by which one could prove the existence of life – except perhaps our own. In order to understand what life is, we must start with our conception of that life that we know, human life, and reduce the notion of this life to a notion of mere life. We may do this by introducing the following distinctions. Intentional movements may succeed, be interrupted, or be mistaken. In contrast, merely teleological movements can only succeed or be interrupted, but not mistaken. Further, intentional movements are executed as more or less suitable means for achieving an end. Merely teleological movements are not performed as means to ends in this sense, but that does not render them less goal-directed.
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