From Extrinsic Design to Intrinsic Teleology

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In this paper I offer a distinction between design and teleology, referring mostly to thehistory of these two terms, in order to suggest an alternative strategy for arguments thatintend to demonstrate the existence of the divine. I do not deal with the soundness ofeither design or teleological arguments. I rather emphasise the differences between thesetwo terms, and how these differences involve radically different arguments for the existence of the divine. I argue that the term „design‟ refers to an extrinsic feature that was in history understood to be imposed by God in nature, while one may argue for an internal tendency, what I call „teleology‟. I first offer a historical tour of design arguments and how the basic notion of design was understood in extrinsic terms. I then briefly present three kinds of objections available in history to these arguments: philosophical, scientific, and theological. I finally move to discussing an intrinsicunderstanding of teleology, and how this notion differs from that of extrinsic design. Iend the paper showing how this notion could be useful in interpreting processes innature, in particular the reproductive tendencies in living beings.
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Archival date: 2019-10-08
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