Philsophical Background

John O. Reiss

in Not by Design

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780520258938
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520944404 | DOI:
Philsophical Background

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This chapter provides the necessary philosophical background by defining teleological thinking and why it is a problem, and distinguishes conditional teleological explanations, which are acceptable, from purposive and deterministic teleological explanations, which are not. It discusses Georges Cuvier's principle of the conditions for existence, arguing that this principle is a conditional teleological principle, and concludes by noting certain parallels between the principle of the conditions for existence and the weak anthropic principle.

Keywords: teleological thinking; conditional teleological explanations; purposive teleological explanations; deterministic teleological explanations; Georges Cuvier; conditions for existence; weak anthropic principle

Chapter.  8966 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

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