Feser Pigliucci Teleonomy

There are a few reasons this OP could be a flop.

1. It links to an article by Ed Feser.
2. It raises issues of teleology and teleonomy (again).

In any event, for those interested in the subject I think Feser’s article is worth a read.

Feser:

…there are at least five approaches one could take to the question of whether teleology is (or is not) real, and at least five levels in nature at which one might (or might not) identify a distinct sort of teleology.

Conjuring teleology

Fourth, teleology might be claimed to exist in inorganic phenomena in a way that does not involve the flourishing of a whole substance (as in living things) but still involves complex causal processes. David Oderberg proposes the rock cycle and the water cycle as examples. Fifth, teleology might exist at the simplest level in the form of an efficient cause’s mere “directedness” toward its characteristic effect or range of effects. Contemporary philosopher Paul Hoffman has called this last kind the “stripped-down core notion” of teleology, and it is essentially what contemporary metaphysicians like John Heil, George Molnar, and U.T. Place have in mind when they attribute “physical intentionality” or “natural intentionality” to causal powers.

I hold to teleology at all levels, including the “stripped-down core notion” of teleology.

65 thoughts on “Feser Pigliucci Teleonomy

  1. Richardthughes:
    keiths,

    Tellytubbics

    Sure, why not, call it any name you like, that is the whole point.

    The entire concept is to come up with a word to replace, “happened by accident”, but doesn’t look like it happened by accident, and its not convenient to say happened by accident, because each time we do we look stupid, so sure tellitubics, spongebobinomics, barneyometrics, whatever you like.

    As KN said, its just more convenient to have a word which obfuscates the murky nature of accepting teleology in evolution. You have to admit it exists, but don’t really want to admit it exists, so….telefuckinspongeboboramaenomicsreductionism. Whatever.

  2. phoodoo

    The entire concept is to come up with a word to replace, “happened by accident”,

    In the case of Creationist arguments “strawman” works pretty well.

  3. Welcome back Phoodoo! How’s the learning at (the vastly superior science based website) uncommon descent been going? Any shareables?

  4. Richardthughes,

    You wouldn’t like it much. They hardly ever say butthurt there.

    Plus you have to be able to read AND understand what you read.

    Youtube has a bunch of cat with cucumbers videos you might enjoy.

  5. phoodoo,

    Oh. 🙁

    Can’t I just read a summary, completely misunderstand it then start a post like I’ve read the whole thing?

  6. Cross-posting this from the tetrapod thread, since it’s on topic here:

    Mung,

    Mechanistic causation is just another term for teleological efficient causation.

    What would non-teleological efficient causation look like?

  7. For if some sort of teleology can be found in the world of the non-living, how much more likely is it that the teleology of the living world is no mere projection of human interests, but a real, mind-independent, objective phenomenon?

    – David S. Oderberg

  8. Mung:

    Mechanistic causation is just another term for teleological efficient causation.

    What would non-teleological efficient causation look like?

    I’m genuinely interested in the answer to that question. Would non-teleological efficient causation even exist, or is acausality the only thing that qualifies as non-teleological in your view?

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