more from William Lycan

Single Idea 5501

[catalogued under 26. Natural Theory / A. Speculations on Nature / 2. Natural Purpose / c. Purpose denied]

Full Idea

There is now a small but vigorous industry whose purpose is to explicate biological teleology in naturalistic terms, typically in terms of causes.


'Teleology' involves purposes

Gist of Idea

People are trying to explain biological teleology in naturalistic causal terms


William Lycan (Introduction - Ontology [1999], p.10)

Book Reference

'Mind and Cognition (2nd Edn)', ed/tr. Lycan,William [Blackwell 1999], p.10

A Reaction

This looks like a good strategy. In some sense, it seems clear that the moon has no purpose, but an eyeball has one. Via evolution, one would expect to reduce this to causation. Purposes are real (not subjective), but they are reducible.