Chapter

Disenchanted Aristotelian Naturalism

Terry Pinkard

in Hegel's Naturalism

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860791
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932986 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860791.003.0002
Disenchanted Aristotelian Naturalism

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A disenchanted nature cannot provide us with such orientation. Nonetheless, even though nature as a whole is without purpose, there are purposes in nature. To understand something as the organ of a living thing is to understand it in light of the function it serves in the organism (such as pumping blood). Since a diseased, nonfunctioning organ obeys all the same causal laws as a healthy organ, to classify something as a disease is to see it in light of such functions. Each organ functions to make the whole (the individual organism) possible, and this organism also acts in terms of purposes. Although there are purposes in nature, nature is not capable of organizing these conflicting purposes within itself into a greater whole. Moreover, although animals may have purposes, only human animals are aware of their purposes as purposes, as reasons for action.

Keywords: physics; Naturphilosophie; purposiveness; teleology; disease; subjectivity

Chapter.  17757 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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