Design versus the Epicurean Hypothesis

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:
Design versus the Epicurean Hypothesis

Show Summary Details


This chapter pursues the debate over design from its origins in ancient Greek philosophy through the Enlightenment to Cuvier and Darwin, contrasts teleological views with those of the atomist or Epicurean school, and examines the prehistory of the principle of the conditions for existence itself. It also examines the scientific revolution and the revolt against teleology, and the emergence of the modern argument of design in the later seventeenth century. The chapter furthermore explores the rebirth of natural theology and then turns to the viewpoint promulgated by three leading British scientists: Robert Boyle, John Ray, and Isaac Newton.

Keywords: Enlightenment; Cuvier; Darwin; scientific revolution; teleology; natural theology; Robert Boyle; John Ray; Isaac Newton

Chapter.  12624 words. 

Subjects: Evolutionary Biology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.