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Final Causes and Teleological Explanations – Introduction

Final Causes and Teleological Explanations – Introduction Final Causes and Teleological Explanations – Introduction Dominik Perler & Stephan Schmid, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Our practice of employing teleological explanations, that is, of explaining phe- nomena with regard to their ends or goals, is quite usual and wide-spread. We say, for example, that Lisa drives a nail into the wall in order to put up a picture. Or we say that people generally go to work in order to earn money and to gain social approval. We say that beavers splash water with their tails in order to warn their fellows against a threatening danger. And we say that the heart pumps blood in order to supply the organism with oxygen. Moreover, we sometimes also explain the existence of features and traits with regard to the function or purpose they serve. Thus, we say that cars are furnished with an air bag in order to protect their driver in an accident, or we say that fish have gills in order to breathe. Even though such sentences sound familiar, it is all but clear how we are to make philosophical sense of them. Do all of these sentences have the same logical structure, as their common grammatical structure suggests? http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Philosophy and Logical Analysis Brill

Final Causes and Teleological Explanations – Introduction

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2666-4283
eISSN
2666-4275
DOI
10.30965/26664275-01401002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Final Causes and Teleological Explanations – Introduction Dominik Perler & Stephan Schmid, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Our practice of employing teleological explanations, that is, of explaining phe- nomena with regard to their ends or goals, is quite usual and wide-spread. We say, for example, that Lisa drives a nail into the wall in order to put up a picture. Or we say that people generally go to work in order to earn money and to gain social approval. We say that beavers splash water with their tails in order to warn their fellows against a threatening danger. And we say that the heart pumps blood in order to supply the organism with oxygen. Moreover, we sometimes also explain the existence of features and traits with regard to the function or purpose they serve. Thus, we say that cars are furnished with an air bag in order to protect their driver in an accident, or we say that fish have gills in order to breathe. Even though such sentences sound familiar, it is all but clear how we are to make philosophical sense of them. Do all of these sentences have the same logical structure, as their common grammatical structure suggests?

Journal

History of Philosophy and Logical AnalysisBrill

Published: Apr 5, 2011

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