more from Diogenes (Apoll)

Single Idea 5995

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / a. Final purpose]

Full Idea

Credit for the first clear assertion of teleological explanation in cosmology goes to Diogenes of Apollonia, for whom air is the divine and intelligent ground of the real and disposes things in the best possible way.


'Teleological' explanations are in terms of purposes

Gist of Idea

Diogenes of Apollonia offered the first teleological account of cosmology


report of Diogenes (Apoll) (fragments/reports [c.440 BCE]) by T.M. Robinson - Classical Cosmology (frags)

Book Reference

'Encyclopedia of Classical Philosophy', ed/tr. Zeyl,Donald J. [Fitzroy Dearborn 1997], p.152

A Reaction

The first teleological explanation seems to be based on a conscious mind. There also emerges the possibility of some sort of non-conscious teleology, closer to the laws of physics than to God.