Does Naturalism Make Room for Teleology? The Case of Donald Crosby and Thomas Nagel

Does Naturalism Make Room for Teleology? The Case of Donald Crosby and Thomas Nagel Does Naturalism Make Room for Teleology? The Case of Donald Crosby and Thomas Nagel mikael leidenhag / university of edinburgh his article explores an important metaphysical issue raised by donald crosby in his Nature as Sacred Ground —namely, the reality and na- Tture of teleology and the explanatory relevance of teleology for under- standing human mentality. crosby, in his endeavor to construct a metaphysical system on which to base religious naturalism, acknowledges the importance of positively accounting for teleology. Teleology is crucial for accounting for human freedom, and if teleology falls prey to reductionism (or some version of antirealism), then a dangerous dissonance is created between naturalism and the necessary presupposition regarding ourselves as experiencing and causally effective creatures. To leave such a dissonance unaddressed would subsequently undermine the metaphysical plausibility and coherency of religious naturalism. What, then, is the place of teleology within the broader framework of naturalism? crosby’s metaphysical enterprise is based on an emergentist and pluralistic ontology. This ontology is also labeled as “radical materialism.” m aterialism is usually equated with determinism and, therefore, rejected in virtue of this association. c rosby, however, maintains that radical material- ism is “entirely consistent with a probabilistic rather than http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Theology & Philosophy University of Illinois Press

Does Naturalism Make Room for Teleology? The Case of Donald Crosby and Thomas Nagel

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Publisher
University of Illinois Press
ISSN
2156-4795

Abstract

Does Naturalism Make Room for Teleology? The Case of Donald Crosby and Thomas Nagel mikael leidenhag / university of edinburgh his article explores an important metaphysical issue raised by donald crosby in his Nature as Sacred Ground —namely, the reality and na- Tture of teleology and the explanatory relevance of teleology for under- standing human mentality. crosby, in his endeavor to construct a metaphysical system on which to base religious naturalism, acknowledges the importance of positively accounting for teleology. Teleology is crucial for accounting for human freedom, and if teleology falls prey to reductionism (or some version of antirealism), then a dangerous dissonance is created between naturalism and the necessary presupposition regarding ourselves as experiencing and causally effective creatures. To leave such a dissonance unaddressed would subsequently undermine the metaphysical plausibility and coherency of religious naturalism. What, then, is the place of teleology within the broader framework of naturalism? crosby’s metaphysical enterprise is based on an emergentist and pluralistic ontology. This ontology is also labeled as “radical materialism.” m aterialism is usually equated with determinism and, therefore, rejected in virtue of this association. c rosby, however, maintains that radical material- ism is “entirely consistent with a probabilistic rather than

Journal

American Journal of Theology & PhilosophyUniversity of Illinois Press

Published: Jun 6, 2019

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