Teleology, Mechanism, and Causation

Christopher Yeomans

in Freedom and Reflection

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199794522
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919253 | DOI:
Teleology, Mechanism, and Causation

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This chapter again delves into Hegel's Logic to reconstruct his twin arguments that the truth of causation is reciprocal interaction and the truth of mechanism is teleology. This is done such that the appeal of different causal and teleological views for an articulation of self-determination is shown, along with Hegel's diagnoses of their limitations. It is specifically shown that the conception of reciprocal interaction develops a conception of productivity that goes beyond the opposition between activity and passivity, and that Hegel's develops the conception of self-determination out of the heightening of passivity rather than the domination of activity. Then it is shown that, for Hegel, the priority of teleology over mechanism means that all mechanical systems are parasitic on goals for their individuation, such that mechanical systems must be considered to be a technique for the realization of ends.

Keywords: Hegel; causation; mechanism; teleology; reciprocal interaction; logic

Chapter.  23226 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy

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